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Americas

Air Cocaine smuggler transferred to France

media Alain Castany (far left) and Nicolas Pisapia (far right) during their trial in Santo Domingo AFP

A Frenchman sentenced to 20 years in a Dominican Republic jail over an attempt to smuggle a planeload of cocaine has been transferred to France for medical treatement.

Alain Castany was convicted of being the brains behind the plot in 2015 after being arrested, along with three compatriots, at an airport in the resort city of Punta Cana in a Dassault Falcon 50 plane that police say was loaded with suitcases containing 700 kilograms of cocaine.

He lost an appeal last November.

The 70-year-old arrived in France on Friday morning after being knocked over by a motorcyle while out on bail.

He will undergo surgery in France to try to avoid amputation of his leg, his Dominican lawyer Luz Diaz told the AFP news agency in Santo Domingo.

The pilots, Pascal Fauret and Bruno Odos, fled to France with the help of French aviation security expert Christophe Naudin, French National Front (FN) MEP Aymeric Chauprade and Pierre Malinowski, who was at the time parliamentary assitant to Chauprade and former FN leader Jean-Marie Le Pen.

But they were rearrested and are now under investigation by French authorities.

Last week the prosecutor's office in Marseille demanded that all four, along with seven other suspects in the case, be handed over to the court in Bouches-du-Rhone.

Chauprade is being held in a Dominican jail following his extradition from Egypt.

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