Turnaround on appeal. 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 July 8 by the Aix-en Special Assize Court of Appeal -Provence.
For the other defendants in this trial, the Court of Appeal confirmed the sentences handed down at first instance for the managers of the aviation company Pierre-Marc Dreyfus and Fabrice Alcaud (six years in prison) and for Ali Bouchareb, the sponsor. suspected of drug trafficking (eighteen years in prison). The driver of the latter, Michel Ristic, was, as in the first instance, acquitted.
MM. Fauret and Odos have always proclaimed their innocence, and their lawyer, Me Vey, reiterated in his lengthy argument on Wednesday that the two men were unaware that there were nearly 700 kilograms of cocaine in 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 twelve years in prison and who did not appeal, Franck Colin, the pilots were «Bananas». Advocate General Pierre Cortès had nevertheless required six years in prison against them, calling them“Performers” who had “The right, even the duty, to ask questions”.
On the night of March 19 to 20, 2013, Dominican police seized 26 suitcases containing 680 kilograms of cocaine aboard a private jet that was about to take off from Punta Cana airport for Saint-Tropez, France. Arrested and then sentenced in the Dominican Republic, Pascal Fauret and Bruno Odos had fled the country illegally.
Their first trial in France was held before the Special Assize Court of Aix-en-Provence in April 2019.