22 Jan 2009

French Polynesia's Flosse denounces campaign against him

4:28 pm on 22 January 2009

French Polynesia's veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, says he is the victim of a campaign to be implicated in the 1997 disappearance of Tahiti journalist, Jean-Pascal Couraud.

Mr Flosse called a news conference in Papeete following reports of a document found in his home which gave an account of how Mr Couraud was seized and drowned by four men working for the now disbanded GIP intervention force.

He says the document, purportedly written by one of the alleged abductors, is a fake.

Its authenticity is yet to be verified as the alleged author was found dead five years ago in circumstances now to be investigated as well.

Mr Flosse says in response to the recent publicity, his lawyer tried to enlist him as a witness to the investigation of the Couraud case in a bid to get access to the evidence accumulated by the investigative judge.

However, the request was rejected as the judge didn't want Mr Flosse's testimony.

The probe into Mr Couraud's disappearance was launched more than four years ago after his family lodged a murder complaint against unknown persons.