4 Jan 2010

Flosse claims independent Tahiti means life for him in jail

3:46 pm on 4 January 2010

French Polynesia's veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, has attributed his release from jail before Christmas to the territory not having won its independence from France.

In an interview with the Tahititoday blog, Mr Flosse said if they had won independence and Oscar Temaru was the president, he would have to live out his days in prison.

Mr Flosse says for some of his rivals all means are acceptable to eliminate him after they failed to dislodge him at the polls.

He also says in Paris some people want to eliminate him from the public scene.

Gaston Flosse spent much of November and December in Tahiti's Nuutania prison as part of an investigation into alleged corruption.

He was freed before Christmas on bail of nearly one million US dollars.

Mr Flosse says he has not abused public funds, claiming that disinformation is being used to entrench such accusations in the public domain.

Last year, he was convicted of abusing public funds and told to relinquish public office but the sentence has been appealed in a Paris court.