27 Jun 2006

Flosse corruption conviction appealed by French Polynesian government

2:07 pm on 27 June 2006

The French Polynesian government has taken last week's criminal conviction of the opposition's top politician, Gaston Flosse, to the appeal court, saying his sentence was too lenient.

Flosse was given a suspended three-month sentence for corrupt practices in a hotel purchase six years ago but the Tahiti court didn't strike out his civic rights for him to lose his mandate as member of the territorial assembly.

The government says the sanction by the court is inappropriate in relation to what Flosse has done.

Under French law, a criminal conviction means a loss of an elected office but the Tahiti courts have decided for a second time this year not to apply it.

The first such case, also involving a conviction of a political party leader, is now being challenged in the supreme court.