7 Jun 2010

Police in French Polynesia arrest founder of the self-styled new republic

5:27 am on 7 June 2010

Police in French Polynesia have arrested the founder of the self-styled new republic, called Hau Pakumotu, amid its continued challenge of French authority.

Athanase Terii was taken into police custody while he was at French Polynesian assembly in a room made available to him by the assembly president, Oscar Temaru.

This comes after investigators in January seized money and illegally issued identity cards following searches in Papeete and on the island of Moorea.

A Hau Pakumotu leader had earlier told Tahiti's La Depeche newspaper that it had been launched on Whaiora marae in New Zealand in November.

At the movement's launch in Moorea, it named a president, 12 ministers for a 15-year-term, three senators and seven representatives.