French ‘getaway king’ on trial for brazen helicopter jailbreak

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Joined: Aug 2019

PARIS – A convicted burglar who escaped prison in 2018 aboard a hijacked helicopter in a jailbreak that astonished France went on trial in Paris on Tuesday, facing life in prison over his brazen getaway.

Nicknamed the “getaway king”, Redouine Faid, 51, was serving time for burglary when accomplices hijacked a helicopter and landed it in the courtyard of Reau prison, southeast of Paris, on the morning of July 1, 2018.

While one of them held a gun to the pilot’s head, two others stepped out of the helicopter launching smoke grenades. 

One of them then kept watch, armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, while another — wearing a fake police armband — used a circular power saw to cut open the gate to the prison cell corridor where Faid and his brother Brahim were being held.

Witnesses later said that Faid “very calmly” walked out of his cell to the waiting helicopter, which took off without any shots being fired. The entire operation took 10 minutes. Police later found the helicopter abandoned.

He was re-captured three months later, hiding in the home of friend of a relative.

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