28 May 2007

Gaston Flosse again denies link with Chirac money transfer

6:07 am on 28 May 2007

The French Polynesian politician, Gaston Flosse, has again denied media reports that he had a role in the alleged transfers of funds to a Japanese account held in the name of the former French president, Jacques Chirac.

The Le Monde newspaper in France says Mr Flosse, who is the territory's former president and a long-term associate of Mr Chirac's, has issued a statement to deny that there was any Tahitian link in the claimed transfer of funds to the account.

But the issue has again been highlighted by the French media which base their story on documents seized from a former head of the intelligence service.

The claim about the Japanese link was first made last year in connection with the so-called Clearstream affair which involved senior members of France's ruling UMP Party.

The British newspaper, The Times, also writes about the alleged Japanese bank account and says Mr Chirac made 54 visits to Tokyo, most of them unofficially.

Mr Chirac had immunity from prosecution until he handed over the

presidency to Nicolas Sarkozy ten days ago.

Mr Chirac is now reported to be on holiday in the south of Morocco.