The two pilots and the two leaders of the private aviation company at the heart of the "Air Cocaine" affair obtained Thursday their release before the investigating chamber of the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal. Provence, pending their appeal trial.
The two pilots, Pascal Fauret and Bruno Odos, like the two leaders of the Lyonnaise aviation company in question, SN-THS, Fabrice Alcaud and Pierre-Marc Dreyfus, had been sentenced at first instance to 6 years in prison by the court. special meeting in Aix-en-Provence, early April. During the seven weeks of the trial, they had appeared free, but had been incarcerated at the prison of Aix-Luynes at the verdict.
Until their trial on appeal, the date of which has not been fixed, they are subject to judicial control, which forbids them to leave metropolitan France and take part in an aeronautical activity – with one exception: Pascal Fauret can claim to practice as a water bomber pilot.
Seven years in prison required
Sentenced for importing and attempting to import narcotic drugs into organized gangs, the four men claimed to have always been unaware that the transatlantic flights they were carrying were carrying drugs at their trial, during which nine accused had appeared.
A sentence of seven years' imprisonment had been requested on Monday, 1 April, against these four accused, although the Advocate General was of the opinion that they knew what was in the luggage of their only passenger on the flights.
Conditions of detention considered appalling
Pascal Fauret and Bruno Odos were arrested on 19 March 2013 at the Punta Cana airport (Dominican Republic) while their Falcon 50 was loaded with twenty-six suitcases containing 700 kilos of cocaine. Two other Frenchmen had also been arrested.
Dominican justice had sentenced the four occupants of the Falcon to 20 years in prison. Benefiting from a very active support committee, the two pilots had fled in October 2015, the Dominican Republic where they had been detained for fifteen months under conditions that they described as appalling in front of the special assizes court of Bouches -du-Rhone.
The latter had pronounced the most important sentence against Ali Bouchareb, the only accused to appear detained, recognized as the sponsor of the three suspicious rotations between Saint-Tropez, Punta Cana or Quito, and who was sentenced to 18 years of imprisonment.