Jail terms for Air Moorea staff over 2007 crash

2:01 pm on 23 January 2019

A court in French Polynesia has sentenced former Air Moorea employees to jail terms over an air crash more than a decade ago.

Crosses bearing names of victims set in front of Papeete Court house, on the first day of the trial of Air Moorea company, 11-years after the crash of one of its aircrafts in which 20 people were killed.

A tribute to the Air Moorea victims Photo: AFP or licensors

Twenty people died when the Twin Otter fell into the sea shortly after taking off from Moorea for Tahiti in 2007.

The criminal court in Papeete has sentenced five former airline employees to prison sentences of up to three years, including the former manager of Air Moorea Freddy Chanseau.

They were earlier found guilty of involuntary homicide.

The court also sentenced the former head of the government's air safety unit to a prison term but cleared the head of civil aviation.

The judge said a rupture of the steering cable was the direct cause of the crash.

Those convicted say they plan to appeal.

A defence lawyer says the appeal case should be heard outside French Polynesia because a dispassionate trial would be difficult.

Last year, French Polynesia's court of appeal ruled that $US3.3 million had to be paid in compensation to the families of the victims.

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