7 Jun 2002

Private searches continue for plane missing in French Polynesia

4:28 pm on 7 June 2002

A search continues in French Polynesia for a plane which went missing with five people aboard two weeks ago.

The plane disappeared in the Tuamotu islands, carrrying four politicians, including the president of the Fetia Api party, Boris Leontieff.

According to the French news agency AFP, divers have been brought in in the hope of finding the passengers and the wreckage after rumours said the plane was off the atoll of Katiu.

And on Fakarava and on Faaite, a detailed search of the beaches was carried out by security forces.

Among those missing is the mayor of Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas, Lucien Kimitete, whose disappearance has been met with disbelief among his supporters.

70 people from Nuku Hiva travelled by boat for two days to the uninhabited island of Eiao convinced that he would be found there.

The French high commission says these people need to be helped to come to terms with his disappearance.