3 Jun 2005

French Polynesia to open probe into 2002 plane disappearance

11:41 am on 3 June 2005

French Polynesia's assembly today opens its first inquiry under powers granted under the 2004 autonomy statute.

A 13-member commission is being set up to try to find out why a small plane carrying leading opposition politicians vanished in the Tuamotu archipelago on May 23rd 2002.

This follows a request from the wife of Boris Leontieff who was among three assembly members to disappear.

A commission member, Sabrina Birk, says all avenues need to be pursued to find out what happened to the five people onboard.

"We will set up a site just for this commission, so that if people all over the Pacific might have any information, you know there are yachts that are going through, there might have been boats there."

Sabrina Birk says a report will be prepared within six months.