Laura Plummer, the British woman jailed for three years in Egypt for bringing in illegal painkillers for her partner, will be freed by Saturday after being granted a presidential pardon, it has been reported.
The 33-year-old shop worker from Hull, East Yorkshire, was sentenced to three years after customs officials found 290 Tramadol painkiller tablets into Egypt. The drug is legal in the UK but is banned in the north African country.
Plummer, who is being held in a cramped and crowded prison, told officials she brought the tablets into Egypt for her husband Omar. Her partner claimed he suffers from severe back pain and provided evidence of his ailment to the Egyptian court where Plummer was tried.
Jayne Synclair, Plummer's sister, hoped Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi would use a presidential pardon on Revolution Day to release Plummer. Revolution Day is a national public holiday when the president can issue pardons to prisoners.
Sisi, who does not have the authority to interfere in the country's judicial process, has issued pardons on previous bank holidays to release a number of prisoners.
According to The Sun, Sisi pardoned Plummer on Egypt's "day of mercy". The Egyptian leader previously pardoned 203 prisoners in March 2017 and more than 500 in June in a presidential pardon.
In a call with The Sun, Plummer said she "can't wait to get home" after being told she will be freed.
"I never thought this day would come. I'd given up hope," she said. "It's hard to believe and hasn't sunk in yet."
Sisi is scheduled to announce her release on Saturday (27 January), but her family was told by Foreign Office sources they are 95% sure that she will be released on Friday.
Earlier on Thursday (25 January), Synclair said her family has not had contact with Plummer since she began her sentence but have received an update from Omar, which gave them some comfort. "We have no contact at all with Laura and she isn't allowed to use the phone or anything like that," she said.
She added that Plummer is no longer in a cell with 64 people but has been moved into a cell with another British woman. "If you have seen the pictures of the jail it isn't a positive thing for us, but she has been moved into a cell with another British woman who she said she is getting on with," Synclair said.
Synclair, 40, and Plummer's brother Kirk, 38, flew out to Cairo for their sister's release. "We can't believe it's over. We've prayed for this day since she was arrested. We just wanted to get her home," Synclair said.
"She's been through a nightmare and will be scarred from her ordeal. It'll be our job to put her back together but we're pleased to have that chance."