French lawyer Olivier Metzner, well-known for defending such high-profile clients as former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega and ex-prime minister Dominique de Villepin, was found dead Sunday.
Police say his body was floating near his private island off Brittany. They say a suicide note was found in his home. An autopsy is being carried out to determine the exact cause of death. He was 63 years old.
Metzner began his legal career by successfully defending petty thieves, and soon became an expert on getting his clients freed on technicalities.
He successfully fought to absolve Continental Airlines of manslaughter charges in a deadly 2000 Concorde crash.
But he failed to win acquittal for former Panamanian dictator Noriega on drug trafficking and money laundering charges.