Local October 30, 2015 | 9:19 am

French lawmaker helped felons flee Dominican Republic: AFP

Santo Domingo.- As the scandalunleashed by the two fugitive French pilots sentenced to 20 years for drugtrafficking despite a court-ordered travel ban continues to snowball, with FrenchMEP Aymeric Chauprade having admitted his involvement in the escape.

Interviewed by AFP andpublished by the weekly Paris-Match, Chauprade detailed his connection with escapeof Pascal Fauret and co-pilot Bruno Odos days before the flight met with the convictsin Santo Domingo, and even tweeted a picture of the encounter with both of themproclaiming their as innocence.

"The day they weresentenced last August, all those who had been mobilizing for them realized thatthey would never be released in a trial on appeal. Then I proposed the idea of??their escape, in a conversation with members of the support committee," saidthe legislator as quoted by AFP.

He said he then contactedChristophe Naudin, the escape´s self-proclaimed organizer.

"(ChristopheNaudin) came to me and told me he had the same idea. Adding ‘we must reflect onhow to do it’."

Participation

The statements reveal thatan entire network took part with many as yet identified individuals.

Chauprade, who reportedlyhas ties to former president Leonel Fernandez, said two different teams were formed,one in the Dominican Republic to escape by land and sea, and the other for theirreturn to France. "I was the team leader one -in the chronological orderof their action- and Christophe team two."

And despite their admittedrole in the operation, the source of the funds for the escape has not yet be clarified.

In that regard, the French lawmaker claimed to have acted"for free."

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