10 Nov 2009

Corruption probe lands French Polynesia's Flosse in jail

6:46 pm on 10 November 2009

The French Polynesian veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, has been detained after being questioned by investigative judges in Papeete over his role in the OPT corruption affair.

After being questioned for several hours, Mr Flosse, who lost his parliamentary immunity as French senator last week, has been transferred to Tahiti's Nuutania jail.

This comes less than two months after he charged with corruption amid claims that over more than a decade his party received regular and massive kickbacks from a French advertising executive, Hubert Haddad, who has been in the Nuutania jail since June.

Dozens of Mr Flosse's supporters accompanied him to the prison from the court building in Papeete, where hundreds of people had gathered in his support.

Last month, he was convicted for misuse of public funds but was allowed to keep his political mandates because of an appeal to France's highest court.

Mr Flosse, who is 78, is also a member of the French Polynesian assembly and was the territory's president for most of the past two decades.