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Last Updated: Friday, 13 July 2007, 18:26 GMT 19:26 UK
Ghana girls' families 'confident'
An anti-drugs poster at Kotoka International Airport
The girls were arrested before boarding their flight to London
The families of two girls accused of drugs smuggling in Ghana say they are confident that the country's legal system will bring about justice.

Yasemin Vatansever and Yatunde Diya, both aged 16 and from London, were held trying to board a plane in Accra.

The pair say they were not aware that drugs - said to be worth about 300,000 - were in their luggage.

They appear before court on 18 July. If found guilty they could face at least 10 years in jail.

A statement issued through the campaign group Fair Trials Abroad, said: "The families have confidence in the Ghanaian justice system and in the lawyer representing them."

They also said that they feared any further public comment on their behalf could harm the girls' chances of a fair trial.

Basic conditions

FTA is ensuring the girls have proper legal representation in Ghana and is providing support to their families in the UK.

Catherine Wolthuizen of FTA said: "We have now confirmed that the consulate is regularly visiting them and ensuring they have received food and everything else they need, that their needs are being met, and now they do have representation."

It has since emerged that the girls' parents had not even been aware their daughters were in Africa.

Yasemin is the daughter of immigrants from Cyprus, while Yatunde is of Nigerian descent. Both are UK citizens.

The Foreign Office said the pair were arrested at Kotoka International Airport on 2 July and charged with possessing and attempting to export an illegal substance.

"There is no prisoner transfer agreement between the UK and Ghana," said Ms Wolthuizen.

"So if they are found guilty they could end up serving their sentence in a Ghanaian prison."

It was basically like a set-up
Yasemin Vatansever

Ghanaian authorities were said to have found the drugs in laptop bags carried by the girls.

Two Ghanaian men apparently paid for the teenagers' accommodation in Accra.

The girls have told police the men gave them the laptop bags.

Yasemin told Channel 4 News on Thursday night they were tricked into carrying drugs to London.

Speaking by telephone from prison in Accra, she said: "There were basically two boys over here who gave us two bags and told us... it was an empty bag.

"We never thought anything bad was inside... and they told us to go to the UK and drop it off to some boy... at the airport."

"It was basically like a set-up. They didn't tell us nothing, we didn't think nothing, because basically we are innocent.

"We don't know nothing about this drugs and stuff."


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