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France

French women freed from Dominican jail arrive home

©

Video by Florence VILLEMINOT

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-30

Two young French women jailed in the Dominican Republic for trafficking cocaine arrived in Paris on Wednesday after 18 months in prison following pressure for their release from President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

AFP - Two French women who were freed from a Caribbean jail with the help of French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy arrived home in France on Wednesday after spending 18 months behind bars for drug trafficking.
   
The two women -- Sarah Zaknoun, 19, and Celine Faye, 20 -- had written several letters to President Nicolas Sarkozy's wife, asking for her help after they were convicted of drug trafficking in the Dominican Republic.
   

Zaknoun and Faye had been sentenced to eight years in jail last year after police found six kilograms (13 pounds) of cocaine in their luggage. They said the drugs were planted on them without their knowledge.
   
After Dominican President Leonel Fernandez granted a Christmas pardon to the two women, they walked free from jail on Tuesday and later spoke by phone with Sarkozy and the first lady, who are on vacation in Morocco.
   
Bruni-Sarkozy played a "decisive role" in efforts to win a pardon for the two women, said Alain Joyandet, the minister for development.
   
Joyandet said the supermodel-turned-singer had taken a personal interest in the case and officials noted privately that by "granting a pardon, the Dominican president knew this would please Carla."

 

Date created : 2009-12-30

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