An estimated 300 people have taken part in a march in Papeete in support
of a jailed French Polynesian party leader, Emile Vernaudon, with some
saying he is the victim of the system.
Mr Vernaudon of the Aia Api Party has been in prison for more than a
month as part of an investigation into the alleged abuse of public funds
when he was in charge of the state-owned post and telecommunications
The Tahitipresse news agency says he has been transferred to a hospital
after complaining of a heart condition, with him greeting some of his
supporters from the hospital window.
Among the supporters were the former president, Gaston Tong Sang, who
said while he respected the judiciary, justice should apply to everybody.
He said before Emile Vernaudon, many thought that being mayor, minister
or president allowed them to use public funds to help the people.
But now, he says, money must be managed differently.
Attempts to have Mr Vernaudon freed on bail to contest the territorial
election in two weeks have been unsuccessful.
His partner, Heifara Izal, has replaced him on the list of candidates
which has been drawn up by Mr Tong Sang's To Tatou Aia Party.
Last March, Emile Vernaudon was given an 18-month suspended prison
sentence for corruption and the criminal court also fined him 15,000 US