11 Sep 2009

Flosse lawyer faces Tahiti search as OPT probe deepens

4:06 pm on 11 September 2009

Investigators in French Polynesia have searched the offices of the lawyer of the territory's veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, whose immunity as French senator will be examined next week.

The search of the office of Francois Quinquis is the latest of a string of searches which are part of a probe into the affairs of the OPT telecommunications company.

Tahitipresse says the investigators have also entered the Papeete office of the lawyer of Hubert Haddad, the French advertising executive alleged to have paid Mr Flosse two million US dollars in kickbacks for public sector contracts.

In the past month, the investigators have also searched the offices of the OPT, Air Tahiti Nui and repeatedly the premises of the Socredo Bank.

Five people, including Mr Haddad, Mr Flosse's personal secretary and a former OPT boss, have been held in prison for months as part of the ongoing probe.