After almost a month since her arrest, Cassie’s Sainsbury’s family have touched down in Colombia to visit their daughter in prison.
On Thursday morning, the accused cocaine smuggler’s mother Lisa Evans and sister Khala Sainsbury were seen at Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport.
They refused to comment on their daughter’s situation to waiting media as they walked through the airport, but were accompanied by a crew from Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes.
The family have reportedly negotiated an ‘eye-watering’ sum just under $1 million for a TV deal the program.
After almost a month since her arrest, Cassie’s Sainsbury’s family have touched down in Colombia to visit their daughter in prison. Her mother Lisa Evans is pictured
Accused drugs smuggler Cassie Sainsbury, 22, smiled and waves for cameras from her prison block in Colombia
Channel Nine journalist Liam Bartlett arrived at the same airport just hours earlier.
While it has not been revealed how much the show paid for the interview, 60 Minutes paid disgraced health blogger Belle Gibson $75,000 for an interview in 2016.
News of the deal comes as the first photo of Miss Sainsbury from inside her Colombia prison surfaces, with her smiling and waving to camera crews.
Joined by another female inmate – believed to be another English speaking accused drug trafficker – Cassie soaked up the limelight as she pointed her finger at TV crews, at one point bursting into laughter as reporters asked her if she was okay.
Moments later friend held out a sign reading: ‘Cassandra Pide Libertad Immediata’, which translates in English to: ‘Cassandra asks for freedom immediately’.
On Thursday morning, the accused cocaine smuggler’s mother Lisa Evans and sister Khala Sainsbury (pictured) were seen at Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport
They refused to comment on their daughter’s situation to waiting media as they walked through the airport, but were accompanied by a crew from Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes
Channel Nine journalist Liam Bartlett arrived at the same Colombian airport just hours earlier and he will reportedly tell the family’s story
The first photo of Miss Sainsbury (right) from inside her Colombia prison surfaces, showing her smiling at the camera alongside a fellow inmate. Her family have reportedly negotiated a huge TV deal to tell her story
The former personal trainer is staying in El Buen Pastor’s Patio Five wing – nicknamed ‘narco patio’ – and faces up to 25 years in jail if found guilty of smuggling drugs.
She was seen wearing a different outfit to the grey tracksuit pants and plain shirt she was in when authorities nabbed her trying to fly out of Bogota airport back home.
The young blonde woman was arrested on April 11 when 5.8kg of cocaine was found in her suitcase concealed in the packaging of 15 headphone boxes.
She has maintained her innocence and claims to have been set up by a man who duped her into buying the electronics at a discount price for her bridal party.
The family has pleaded with the public to help fund Miss Sainsbury’s legal costs from the beginning, first appealing for money on a Go Fund Me page following her arrest.
The first mug shot of Cassandra Sainsbury emerges after it was taken during her registration at El Buen Pastor women’s prison
The first photo of Miss Sainsbury (right) from inside her Colombia prison surfaces, showing her smiling at the camera alongside a fellow inmate
Pictured are the 18 concealed packages of cocaine which Miss Sainsbury believed were headphones
Taxpayers could end up paying for the legal aid for Ms Sainsbury under a government scheme designed to help Australians facing serious criminal charges overseas.
The 22-year-old’s Bogota lawyer confirmed he and Miss Sainsbury filled out a form to apply for financial assistance as her legal costs mounted, News Corp reports.
‘They are looking for state funds in Australia for the legal costs, so she was signing a form for that, to put before the government there,’ Colombian attorney Orlando Herron said.
The personal trainer from Adelaide (pictured) was denied bail and is being held at the overcrowded El Buen Pastor women’s prison until her hearing in two months, her family said
Cassandra Sainsbury faces 25 years in jail after she was arrested with 5.8 kilograms of cocaine at an airport in Colombia
‘I have no idea how much they are looking for. It is to cover the lawyer’s fees in Australia.’
The Attorney-General’s Department may help Australians facing serious criminal charges in an overseas country with the cost of their defence.
Applications can be made to the department for grants to cover legal fees and other expenses – which can often run into hundreds and thousands of dollars.
It is only granted to Australian citizens who are facing either imprisonment for 20 years or more or the death penalty in a foreign country.
According to the guidelines, the government can cover costs associated with legal defence of up to $290 per hour, psychological treatment of up to $2000 and counsel fees of up to $3600 per day.
It can also cover the costs of travelling and flying out legal counsel from Australia to aid Miss Sainsbury during her trial.
The financial scheme paid part of the long-running legal costs of high profile drug smuggling cases including the two executed Bali Nine members Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran and Schapelle Corby.
The 22-year-old drew the attention of the DEA when her plane ticket home to Australia via London was reportedly purchased last minute by an ‘unknown party’ in Hong Kong Read
The 22-year-old appeared cheerful as she left the hotel in Bogota, Colombia, carrying a suitcase allegedly packed with cocaine and wearing the same clothes she was arrested in
Cassie Sainsbury left her Moana home for a working holiday in South America on April 3 and was arrested at an airport in Bogota eight days later
The accused drug smuggler is locked in El Buen Pastor prison – where she has been since her arrest on April 11 – and has been advised to plead guilty to avoid the maximum sentence of 25 years.
But Miss Sainsbury has maintained her innocence and claims she was tricked into carrying the 5.8kg of cocaine which she believed were separately wrapped headphones.
Vision from inside Bogota Airport obtained by Nine News shows Miss Sainsbury being led away just moments after handing her passport to an immigration officer on April 11.
The 22-year-old Australian woman had earlier checked-in for her flight to London and was being questioned by the officer who had already been given her travel details when she was intercepted.
Miss Sainsbury had initially appeared calm throughout her exchange with the guard, even smiling and chatting with the officer.
Her mood changed when she was asked why her ticket, which was purchased by a mystery person in Hong Kong, had been bought just hours earlier, before being handed over to a supervisor and marched into a secure area for further questioning.
Staff at the hotel where Miss Sainsbury spent her last night of freedom said she was accompanied by a well-dressed Colombian with a stylish haircut and dark skin everywhere she went.
US drug enforcement authorities tipped off Colombian police about Cassie Sainsbury after her last-minute plane ticket was bought by an ‘unknown party’ in Hong Kong
Miss Sainsbury’s fiance Scott Broadbridge (left) has maintained a strict silence but vows his partner is innocent
CCTV footage of the moment the 22-year-old was detained by police were released
Hotel manager Ingrid Hernandez said Miss Sainsbury had just the one visitor during her stay.
‘Supposedly she met him around the hotel where she was staying, in the first few days when she arrived here,’ Ms Hernandez said, according to the The Daily Telegraph.
‘She didn’t speak Spanish so was supported by him. He helped her, accompanied her, they went everywhere together.
Miss Sainsbury told family she called the man who gave her the packages when she was arrested, but he hung up on her and reportedly destroyed the phone.
She said his name was Angelo, but she had no further information.
The hotel manager said they had no record of the mystery man either.
Miss Sainsbury can be seen walking up to an immigration officer with her passport
Photographs of her boarding pass and passport (pictured) have also come to light after they were seized by police
Cassandra Sainsbury could apply for parole and return to Australia if she pleads guilty – as her lawyer (pictured) says she bought the headphones to sell back home NOT as gifts for her bridal party
Accused drug smuggler Cassandra Sainsbury initially refused to leave her prison cell, but is now adjusting to life behind bars and making friends with fellow inmates
‘He came a few times, the receptionists told me, but we don’t have a record of him because he didn’t stay the night. She said this guy was very friendly, he spoke English and Spanish,’ she said.
The hotel’s deputy manager also saw Miss Sainsbury with a black mystery man.
‘I did see her one time with a man. The man, he was tall, he was black and they were talking in the lobby before they left the hotel,’ they told Nine News.
Staff also said she spent most of her time inside the room of the hotel, which was situated in a notorious downtown Bogota neighbourhood.
She is reportedly ‘permanently crying’ inside notorious Colombian prison El Buen Pastor where she remains behind bars.
Sources from inside the prison said Miss Sainsbury was not in a good mental state inside the small, overcrowded cell where she was kept with other prisoners.