15 Jun 2009

Senior French advertising exec jailed in Tahiti over alleged corruption

7:08 am on 15 June 2009

The chief executive of a French advertising company, Hubert Haddad, has been jailed in French Polynesia over alleged corruption surrounding the territory's publicly-owned telecommunications company, OPT.

Mr Haddad was arrested in Paris late last month and flown to Tahiti over the weekend to join three others in jail as the investigations continue into alleged financial irregularities amounting to more than 10 million US dollars.

Among those implicated in the affair by the prosecutors in Papeete are a former French Polynesian government minister, Emile Vernaudon, and two heads of the OPT board of directors.

They are all accused of active and passive corruption and abuse of trust.

Their arrest follows the publication of a report by the public

accountant's office which questioned the veracity of some of the OPT contracts.