18 Nov 2005

Property of ex-French Polynesian president seized

9:41 am on 18 November 2005

Authorities in French Polynesia have seized a property belonging to the former president, Gaston Flosse, to pay off a debt of roughly US$1,000,000.

The news agency, Associated Press, reports a tribunal in Papeete yesterday ordered the property to be sold at auction on the 19th of January.

The property of the territory's representative in the French Senate is on the island of Huahine.

The debt claim process was begun last May by a Vanuatu firm, Pacer Limited International Trust Company.

Mr Flosse borrowed US$357,000 from this firm in 1994 and 1995 to help him buy a hotel in Paris.

Lawyers for the claimant say Mr Flosse is yet to pay back any of the original sum, let alone the interest accumulated.