A MAN suspected of trying to smuggle £4m of cannabis hidden inside a yacht awaits trial holed up in an “inhumane” French prison.
Skelmersdale man James Don has spent 15 months incarcerated in Marseille’s tough Baumettes prison, after 1.2 tonnes of cannabis was unearthed by French customs officials in September, 2011.
Don is alleged to have been one of two people on board the British-registered yacht, which set sail from Spain flying the Union Jack.
The boat, named the Tomahawk, was followed by helicopter and by patrol boats when customs intercepted it in the fishing town of Port Camargue, near the southern coast city of Montpellier.
Customs seized the illicit haul of Moroccan cannabis resin found in 40 cases hidden within the compartments of the yacht.
French authorities today confirmed that Don is still in prison and is yet to learn if and when he will face court proceedings.
Remanding suspects in France is common – 25% of all prisoners are awaiting trial.
In drug trafficking cases, suspects can be held for up to two years, which can be extended by four months in “exceptional circumstances”.