11 Mar 2005

New Caledonia MP questioned over apartment sale, say reports

8:15 am on 11 March 2005

Reports from New Caledonia say an MP has been released from police custody after being questioned as part of a probe into the illegal taking of interest.

Radio New Caledonia reports the representative of the Rassemblement-UMP, Françoise Sagnet-Chaverot, has been released this morning after being held for 24 hours.

A property developer, Christian Kalinowski, was also held for questioning.

Mrs Chaverot was questioned over the building and sale of certain apartments in a block of flats in Noumea.

The news agency, AFP, quotes sources as saying the flats were built on land that had been sold five years ago by the southern provincial government to Mr Kalinowski at well below the market price.

The report went on to say Mrs Sagnet-Chaverot had been a member of the finance commission of the provincial government at the time of the sale, and had acquired one of the apartments at a price that would be considered preferential.