Two-year jail term sought for Flosse over Tahiti spying

8:17 pm on 26 March 2015

The prosecution in French Polynesia's espionage trial has requested a two-year jail sentence for the disgraced former president, Gaston Flosse, for espionage and abuse of public funds.

French Polynesia's court building

French Polynesia's court building Photo: RNZI

The criminal court in Papeete heard that his intelligence service, which ran between 1997 and 2004, invaded the privacy of rival politicians, journalists and others.

Flosse was also tried for abusing 10 million US dollars in public funds by running the spy agency with its staff of 19 out of the presidency office.

The prosecution says the French constitution guarantees certain liberties to individuals and media people, which were breached.

It also says he was not in charge of a state and therefore not allowed to have an intelligence service.

However, the defence says political intelligence is not forbidden and Flosse should be acquitted.

Seven other people were being tried, including the agency's French heads, whom France had seconded.

A verdict is expected on June the 23rd.

Three years ago, Flosse was convicted for obstructing the examination of the case and he was fined 16,000 US dollars for destroying all the agency's documents.

Last year, Flosse was given a four-year suspended jail term, a 170,000 US dollar fine and banned from public office for three years for corruption.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs