- Paul Frampton, 68, has been in a Buenos Aires prison for ten months
- A maths colleague at North Carolina defended him, saying: ‘He has a good case’
- The physicist has had a paper published since being in prison
By Louise Boyle
PUBLISHED:16:48 EST, 23 October 2012| UPDATED:16:50 EST, 23 October 2012
Popular: Professor Paul Frampton has asked that his salary at UNC be doubled while he awaits drug smuggling charges in Argentina
A physics professor, who has spent almost a year in an Argentinian jail awaiting his drug smuggling trial, has written to his employer asking to be paid double his salary.
Paul Frampton, 68, has sent a letter to the provost of the University of North Carolina saying he should have his $107,000 salary reinstated – and then be paid twice as much.
The British professor is being held in a Buenos Aires prison after being caught with a case containing more than 4lb of cocaine.
The scientist – who faces 16 years in prison – claims he was tricked into believing he was carrying it for a bikini model Denise Milani through a ‘honey trap scheme’.
Mark Williams, a UNC math professor, told ABC: ‘Most people would think its crazy for a man in prison to ask for a raise, but if you look closely, he has a good case.’
Mr Williams said that his friend of 25 years is known to be excessively naive.
Mr Frampton wrote to Provost Bruce Carney to make the point that he ranks 18th on the pay scale of the 28 professors in his department despite the fact he is cited the most.
He has not been paid since March 1 when he was put on leave after the scandal broke.
UNC declined to comment on Mr Frampton’s request but said that he remained a valued member of staff.
Since he has been in jail, Mr Frampton has written at least three physics’ articles one of which has been published.
Fake: Bikini model Denise Milani had her identity used by a drug smuggling gang who allegedly lured the physics professor into smuggling a suitcase of cocaine
Prof Frampton, who is professor of physics and astronomy, said he had been communicating online with someone claiming to be Denise Milani for 11 weeks before his arrest earlier this year.
But when no one turned up after ten days, he claims he was persuaded to travel to Argentina to catch up with her there instead.
He says he was met instead by a Bolivian man, who gave him a suitcase to take to Buenos Aires for Miss Milani, who had apparently flown there for a modelling trip.
Place of work: Dr Frampton is one of 28 physics professors at the University of North Carolina – but is 18th on the pay scale
When she did not turn up, he tried to board a plane home, but was arrested after the cocaine was found in a false lining of the case.
Argentinian authorities insist there is no evidence the brunette was aware her identity was being used.
The professor, who was born in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, is being held at Villa Devoto Prison in Buenos Aires.
Leading academics including 1979 Nobel prizewinner Sheldon Glashow, who has worked on more than a dozen scientific papers with Professor Frampton, have written to the judge in his case to plead his innocence.
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