Court suspended after Cassie Sainsbury puts plea deal in danger with 'death threat' admission

Cassie Sainsbury's court hearing has been suspended after she put her six-year plea agreement in jeopardy with the admission she carried cocaine due to a threat made to her family.

The 22-year-old accused drug mule appeared in a Bogota court on Thursday morning (Australian time) after her legal team had made a plea deal with the prosecution gaining the South Australian a substantially reduced sentence of six years.

Sainsbury was caught carrying 5.8 kilograms of cocaine concealed in 18 headphone sets at Bogota's international airport in April.

It is understood Sainsbury agreed in a plea deal that she would admit to carrying the drug but would be offered a lenient sentence in exchange for information on who supplied her the drugs.

But what Sainsbury was admitting to quickly came under question in the court with particular focus on whether there was "intention" to carry the drugs.

Sainsbury arrives at court. Source: AAP

The prosecution put it to the court that Sainsbury carried the drugs with intention as she was under threat.

The judged asked her (through a translator): "Were you under threat to take the drugs with you?"

"Yes," Sainsbury answered.

"Who threatened you?" he asked.

"I don't know the exact person."

Sainsbury told the court the threat arose because she didn't want to take the package anywhere.

"I was told that my family and partner would be killed," Sainsbury said.

Sainsbury's unexpected death threat claims saw court suspended, with no sentencing handed down. Source: AAP

The judge asked if there was any way to prove the threat took place, and Sainsbury said she couldn't.

He asked that if she was threatened to take the drugs, 'Why did you make a plea bargain accepting the charges from the prosecutor?"

"I have accepted the charges and agreed to take up pre-agreement because the one thing that I cannot take away from the evidence is that the drug was in my suitcase and I was carrying it," Sainsbury told the judge.

"I have to take responsibility for that."

The judge then questioned the prosecution before adjourning the court until August 9, saying he wanted more time to investigate the legality of the plea agreement, following Sainsbury's unexpected claims.

Sainsbury faces 20 years in prison if the court does not agree to her plea deal.

Sainsbury was joined in court by her mother Lisa Evans, and fiancé Scott Broadbridge.

Her fiancé Scott Broadbridge flew over to Colombia to be alongside Sainsbury for the hearing. Source: AAP

On Wednesday, her sister Kahla Sainsbury told 7 News that her Cassie's life would never be the same, even after just a few years in prison.

"I don't think there's be much she can do when she comes back home. It's going to be hard for her to get a job. It's going to be hard for her to do anything," she said.

"Because she's going to be labelled as 'Cocaine Cassie'."

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the case served as another warning to Australians travelling overseas.

"People need to abide by the laws of that country. If not, they will face serious consequences," he told Seven on Thursday.

The government provided consular assistance to Sainsbury, but did not fund her legal case, Mr Dutton said.