The lawyer acting for French Polynesia's veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, says the case put to 23 people for having misspent public funds is flawed.
Francois Quinquis was speaking after a court hearing opened into the misuse of an estimated two million US dollars by Mr Flosse and 22 of his followers during the dominant days of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party in the mid-1990s until 2004.
The court is to spell out how much each of the 23 individuals has to repay.
But Mr Quinquis has told local radio that the process is flawed as part of case is based on expressions in Tahitian that were never translated.
Among those facing repayment demands are the former vice president, Edouard Fritch, and the mayor of Papeete, Michel Buillard, who is one of the territory's two members of the French assembly.