From correspondents in Marseille
July 15, 2007 07:11am
Article from: Agence France-Presse
A CONVICTED killer who had already staged one helicopter-assisted prison break, again escaped from a French prison today using a helicopter.
Pascal Payet, 43, broke out of Grasse prison, southeast France, after a helicopter hijacked by four masked men landed on the roof of one of the prison buildings, said a source close to the investigation.
The helicopter landed some time later at Brignoles, 38 km northeast of Toulon, on the Mediterranean coast. Payet and his accomplices released the pilot unharmed and fled the scene.
The helicopter had been hijacked earlier in the evening at the Cannes-Mandelieu airport.
In October 2001, Payet used a helicopter to escape from the Luynes prison in southeast France.
Payet, from the southern French city Marseille, had been serving a 30-year sentence for a murder committed during a robbery on a security van.
Two years later, while still on the run, he organised the escape of three other inmates of Luynes prison – again using a helicopter.
Last year, he received a seven-year jail sentence for having organised the 2003 jail break.