3 Jun 2010

Jail request in French Polynesia Rolls Royce import case

2:32 pm on 3 June 2010

The public prosecutor in French Polynesia, Jose Thorel, has asked for the jailing for one year of Rene Hoffer for refusing to pay import duty for a Rolls Royce car which customs officials seized last year.

Mr Thorel also wants the criminal court to imprison Mr Hoffer for claiming to be the president since the political turmoil of 2004 when three men laid claim to the title.

Mr Hoffer says three court cases have confirmed that his importation of the vehicle from California in 2008 was legal despite demands by customs that he pay import duty.

He says in order to get access to all the documents pertaining to the current court case, he won't take a lawyer.

And he says Mr Thorel has already acknowledged that he is the rightful holder of the presidential title by giving him documents.

"He could not give me access to documents under my title, he personally, and afterwards sue me for using this title."

A verdict is expected in about three weeks.