French judge jails pilot in Dominican drug scandal
Paris.- One of twoFrench pilots who fled the Dominican Republic, where they were convicted ofdrug trafficking, was incarcerated in Marseille prison Tuesday night, while theother is expected to be arraigned today.
Jean Reinhart, the lawyerfor the pilot Bruno Odos, told the media that his client, arrested forinterrogation on Monday, was sent to the jail Baumettes in Marseille andannounced that he will appeal the incarceration.
Judge Christine SaunierRuellan questioned Odos on his escape with his colleague Pascal Fauret fromSanto Domingo, where they had been released on their own recognizance to await trialon appeal of their 20-year prison sentence.
Fauret, also arrested Monday, is expected to appearbefore the judge today when he also faces pretrial detention.
"I was under theimpression of being in open-air prison," Odos said to justify his escape andthe grim feeling of "spending 20 years there," according tostatements published by radio station "France Info" on its website.
Odos also denied havingknowledge of the drugs seized in the Falcon jet in the Dominican Republic,noting that commercial flight pilots have no control over the nature of thefreight.
The Dominican Republic issuedan international arrest warrant for the pilots last week, but the Frenchgovernment responded that they don’t extradite its nationals.