17 Dec 2009

Flosse fails again to win release from Tahiti jail

1:03 pm on 17 December 2009

There has been a further unsuccessful attempt to win the release of French Polynesia's veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, who is being held in Tahiti's Nuutania jail as part of a probe into alleged corruption.

A Tahiti newspaper says his lawyer's bid to have him freed ahead of the Christmas holiday was rejected on formal grounds because the request was not submitted to the relevant official.

Another bid is now expected to be made next week.

Mr Flosse, who was first detained last month, is to have further confrontations with other suspects and witnesses to establish what happened to payments made by a French advertising executive.

Earlier in the week, two former mistresses were asked to testify after leaked documents showed that the politician said he had used the money to pay them alimony.

This is in contrast to earlier claims that the executive sponsored his party because it stood up against pro-independence politicians.