Four Frenchmen on trial in D.Republic for drug running

9th March 2015, Comments 0 comments

Four Frenchmen accused of trying to fly dozens of suitcases packed with cocaine from the Dominican Republic to France went on trial Monday in Santo Domingo alongside 10 alleged accomplices.

Two years after their arrest, the four men -- two pilots, their passenger and the alleged broker behind the deal -- appeared in court for the start of the long-delayed trial in what the French media have dubbed the "Air Cocaine" affair.

But several minutes into the proceedings, the trial was postponed indefinitely after a prosecution request to move it to another court.

The men were arrested in March 2013 on the tarmac at the airport in the Caribbean resort of Punta Cana. Dominican authorities say they were preparing to take off in a mid-size Dassault Falcon 50 jet with 26 suitcases carrying 680 kilograms (1,500 pounds) of cocaine.

Pilot Pascal Fauret, co-pilot Bruno Odos, passenger Nicolas Pisapia and alleged broker Alain Castany face up to 25 years in prison for the charges -- which they deny, saying they were unaware what they were carrying.

Fauret and Odos, who were detained for 15 months before being placed under house arrest, appeared in court in their pilots' uniforms.

The four Frenchmen are accused alongside nine Dominican army officers and a civilian official.

© 2015 AFP

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