Amateur pilot arrested for flying over Sarkozy villa
A French amateur pilot was arrested for flying over the Riviera villa where the president and his wife were vacationing.
1 August 2008
DRAGUIGNAN - A French amateur pilot was arrested for flying over the Riviera villa of French first lady Carla Bruni, where she is vacationing with President Nicolas Sarkozy, police said Friday.
The pilot was ordered to land and detained at an airfield in the Provence town of Fayence, after overflying the Bruni-Tedeschi family's luxury seafront villa in Cap Negre late Thursday, in breach of a defence ministry flight ban.
A 36-year-old bus driver from Nice, the pilot said he was making his first long-distance flight and had overflown the villa by mistake while headed for an airfield in the coastal town of Toulon.
Gendarmes found no photographs of Bruni's residence on either the pilot's camera or that of his passenger.
Prosecutors had yet to announce possible charges against the pilot, who could face a fine of up to EUR 45,000 and one year in jail.
Sarkozy and Bruni are spending three weeks at the Cap Negre villa, with a break of a few days to allow the French president to attend the 8 August Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing.
The area has been declared a no-flight zone until 15 September.
[AFP / Expatica]
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