Air Moorea crash appeal case opens in Tahiti

12:09 pm on 13 November 2019

The court of appeal in French Polynesia has begun hearing an appeal launched by those given jail sentences over the 2007 Air Moorea crash in which 20 people died.

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.

Photo: AFP or licensors

In January, the criminal court in Papeete sentenced five former airline employees to prison sentences of up to three years, including the former manager, Freddy Chanseau.

They were earlier found guilty of involuntary homicide after the Air Moorea Twin Otter fell into the sea shortly after taking off for Tahiti.

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

The criminal 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 appeal, which is expected to take three weeks, is being heard in Tahiti after the defence failed in its bid to move the trial out of French Polynesia.

The defence wanted the appeal moved for it to be dealt with more dispassionately.

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.