24 Jan 2008

Convicted French Polynesian politicians appeal to contest weekend poll

2:35 pm on 24 January 2008

Two French Polynesian opposition politicians have appealed their convictions for corruption, a day after being given suspended prison sentences.

Lana Tetuanui of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party was given a one-year suspended jail sentence and her husband Cyril Tetuanui received an 18-months jail sentence for abusing public funds in 2002 when he was a mayor on Raiatea.

Mrs Tetuanui has been an assembly member for the Tahoeraa and with the appeal now lodged, she can continue to contest the weekend early general election as the party's top candidate in the Leeward islands.

The couple was also given a fine of 5,000 US dollars each.

Their sentencing came on the same day it became public that the Tahoeraa leaders, Gaston Flosse and Edouard Fritch, have been summoned by investigative magistrates to be questioned in a fraud probe launched in 2005.