The French Polynesian assembly has voted against the veteran leader Gaston Flosse's bid to have questionable expenditure declared to have been in the public good.
Mr Flosse and some of his associates had been told by the French accounts office that they have to repay more than three million US dollars in public funds which the office deemed to have been misspent between 1996 and 2004.
He was absent from the assembly today when it voted to reject the suggestion that the expenses were legitimate.
The accounts office had been looking at the running of the territorial administration under Mr Flosse amid complaints by the pro-independence politicians.
But now, as they are Mr Flosse's political allies, they abstained in the vote, with one of them calling against politicising administrative matters.