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Convicted French 'Air Cocaine' pilots flee Dominican Republic

The two pilots, sentenced for trafficking cocaine, have escaped house arrest and returned to France. Having left a country where, their lawyer claims, "justice does not exist," they now seek to clear their names.

"They are not escapees because they were not in prison," their lawyer maintained. "They are in France not to flee justice but to seek justice," he added in an announcement of their return on Monday.

Although he did not provide details of the escape, the French television channel BLM reported that the duo fled by boat to the French Antilles and flew to Paris. Former former intelligence agents and a French politician were said to have aided their getaway.

France claimed to have taken no part in the escape.

The pilots, Pascal Jean Fauret and Bruno Odos, have maintained their innocence and are now turning to the French courts to clear their names.

In what the French media dubbed the "Air Cocaine" case, Fauret and Odos were arrested in 2013 as their jet was set to take off from the Punta Cana resort in the Dominican Republic. Authorities found 680 kilograms (1,500 pounds) of cocaine in 26 suitcases on board.

jtm/kms (AFP, AP)