29 Oct 2009

6-month detention of French Polynesia agent ends as OPT probe continues

6:47 pm on 29 October 2009

Investigators in French Polynesia have released a suspect in the OPT corruption affair, Michel Yonker, after holding him for six months in preventative detention.

He was the Tahiti agent of a French firm at the centre of the probe into allegations of corruption to the benefit of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party of Gaston Flosse.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Michel Yonker's release coincides with a decision to continue holding the former OPT and Air Tahiti Nui boss, Geffry Salmon, in Papeete's jail. Amid a now daily flurry of searches and interrogations, the machinery of the former Flosse administration continues to be taken apart and examined. The latest person to be taken in for questioning is the director of the Socredo Bank, James Estall, whose private home has also been searched amid efforts to examine Mr Flosse's property deals. Mr Flosse, who is 78, enjoys parliamentary immunity and is widely expected to be spared the sanctions being readied by the judiciary."