29 Mar 2007

French Polynesian government lawyer threatened with suspended jail term

12:53 pm on 29 March 2007

The prosecutor in French Polynesia has demanded that a suspended jail sentence of at least four months for a lawyer accused of attempted blackmail of an alleged spy.

The Tahitipresse news agency says the lawyer, Annie Rousseau, and a former policeman interrogated a female member of the GIP intervention force in 2004 about the alleged spy network within the GIP.

Ms Rousseau was working for the then president, Oscar Temaru, amid differences with the GIP which was a militia-like body set up by his predecessor, Gaston Flosse.

The lawyer of the alleged female spy says Ms Rousseau crossed the line when she questioned her.

Ms Rousseau is alleged to have blackmailed the woman about her private affairs in a bid to win information about the GIP.

The defence says the court should keep in mind the context of the action as the GIP's activities were not completely innocent.