25 Jun 2009

Paris court finds Tahiti Pacifique magazine guilty of defamation

1:41 pm on 25 June 2009

A French court has found the publisher of the Tahiti Pacifique monthly, Alex du Prel, guilty of defamation and fined him 1,000 euros.

The case was brought by the French prosecutor in French Polynesia, Jean Bianconi, over an article published two years ago about the 1997 disappearance of a Tahitian journalist, Jean-Pascal Couraud.

The magazine claimed that the journalist had been killed and questioned whether there was an overriding political interest to bury the affair.

Mr Couraud's family lodged a murder complaint in 2004.

Investigations into the alleged murder by the GIP militia of the then French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse, are now in their fifth year.