Two French pilots sentenced to 20 years in jail
On Friday, 14 August 2015, a Higuey court sentenced Frenchmen Jean Pascal Fauret and Bruno Odos to 20 years in jail for the “crimes associated with the possession illegal drugs”. The pilots have maintained their innocence.
Some 680 kilograms (1,500 pounds) of cocaine were confiscated on a private chartered Dassault Falcon 50 jet prior to its taking off from Punta Cana International Airport with the final destination being St. Tropez, France. The long-delayed trial was known in France as the “Air Cocaine Affair”.
The pilots, crew member Alain Castany and passenger Nicolas Pisapia were arrested in March 2013 prior to their departure from the Punta Cana airport.
Four Dominicans charged with complicity in the case were given sentences from 5 to 10 years in prison.
The lawyer for the French pilots, Maria Elena Gratereaux, said she would appeal the court’s decision.
The Frenchmen had always maintained their innocence and had argued they did not know the drugs were on the plane.
As reported in the French media, prosecutor Milciades Guzman repeated on Friday that the cocaine had been transported “to the plane via a hole in the security fence, in the pilots’ presence”.
French media reported that French investigators are also probing the “suspicious behavior” of passengers from a Falcon 50 jet that landed in December 2012 in the Mediterranean resort of Saint-Tropez, with Fauret, Odos and Pisapia on board. A French customs official is under investigation for allegedly helping two vehicles unload ten suitcases from the aircraft.
Investigators say two identical deliveries took place earlier in 2012, and a third one was scheduled for March 2013, when the Frenchmen were arrested in the Dominican Republic.
Rolando Rosado, former chief of the National Drug Control Agency, testified during the trial that began on 29 May 2015, that the Frenchmen were part of a drug smuggling network that had sent at least two previous shipments of drugs to Europe, as reported in Listin Diario.
Source: DR1, France24.com
August 18, 2015
Category: DR News |