The two pilots acquitted on appeal

They won their case. The pilots Pascal Fauret and Bruno Odos, sentenced to six years in prison at first instance in the so-called “Air Cocaine” case, were acquitted on Thursday by the Aix-en-Provence Special Assize Court of Appeal.

For the other defendants in this trial, the Court of Appeal confirmed the sentences handed down at first instance: the managers of the aviation company Pierre-Marc Dreyfus and Fabrice Alcaud were sentenced to 6 years in prison and Ali Bouchareb, sponsor of the drug trafficking according to the prosecution, was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment. The latter’s driver, Michel Ristic, was acquitted, as in the first instance.

The pilots got “bananas”

The two pilots have always claimed their innocence, since their arrest, and their lawyer Me Vey hammered in his long plea on Wednesday that the two men did not know that there were 700 kilos of cocaine in the 26 suitcases loaded in the Falcon 50 which was about to take off from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, in March 2013.

According to a key figure in the case, sentenced to 12 years in prison and who did not appeal, Franck Colin, the pilots were “banned”. Advocate General Pierre Cortès had nevertheless required six years in prison against them, describing them as “executors” who had “the right, even the duty to ask questions”.

On the night of March 19 to 20, 2013, the Dominican police seized 26 suitcases containing 680 kilos of cocaine aboard a private jet that was about to take off from Punta Cana airport for Saint-Tropez in France. Arrested and then sentenced in the Dominican Republic, Pascal Fauret and Bruno Odos had fled clandestinely. Their first trial in France was held before the Special Assize Court of Aix-en-Provence in April 2019.

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pilots acquitted appeal

 
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