22 Sep 2009

French Polynesia investigators arrest a Tahoeraa Huiraatira technician

5:25 am on 22 September 2009

Investigators in French Polynesia have arrested a technician employed by the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party for allegedly destroying evidence relevant to a corruption probe.

He was initially detained at the end of last week when the Tahoeraa leader, Gaston Flosse, was being questioned over the so-called OPT affair which centres on allegations that as president he received two million US dollars in kickbacks for granting public sector contracts to a French advertising agency.

Last week, the investigators also searched Mr Flosse's home and the party's premises where the investigators seized a computer and detained the technician.

Mr Flosse told a Tahiti blog site that the technician's help was sought to repair a scanner.

Mr Flosse is expected to be formally charged next week which could pave the way for his parliamentary immunity as French senator to be lifted.