Appeal after Tahiti court's ruling on legality of patu
A French Polynesian court has found there was no fraud committed when the self-styled king of the Pakumotu republic printed a new currency and used some of it to pay for services.
A French Polynesian court has found there was no fraud committed when the self-styled Pakumotu republic printed a new currency and used some of it to pay for services.
However, its self-styled king Athanase Teiri is in jail because of threats he made to senior officials and because some in his group used firearms to try to thwart a police search of his compound.
The court also threw out a constitutional challenge by a citizen, Rene Hoffer, who wanted it to test the monetary code which says the currency of the France is the euro.
Mr Hoffer told Walter Zweifel that the code fails to provide a basis for the use of the Pacific franc and therefore he has lodged an appeal.
RENE HOFFER: "I will also ask that the case will be depayse [ed: moved] to France because all people here - judges whatever their name is - get paid in euros and they get their currency in francs or whatever they call it. So by being in this situation, I say they cannot have another look or they even might be accomplices of what is going on because themselves are interested that the get that money for themselves."
WALTER ZWEIFEL: "Can anyone make this constitutional challenge or is it, as it says in this ruling, restricted to people who are part of the case, i.e. either victims or certain organisations?"
RH: "Everybody can to a question prioritaire de constitutionalite [priority constitutional question]. It's not specific to criminal court. You can do it in the administrative court and so on. They say that I could not ask that question. So that's why I made an appeal. So, I'm challenging this. So I cannot give you the answer."
WZ: "The court found there was no crime whatsoever, neither in distributing the money nor in the alleged that fraud that went with it when that money was used, but in December a woman was given a two-month jail sentence for just handing over a 100 patu note at a petrol station. Is that inconsistency acknowledged in French Polynesia?"
RH: "I don't know if it is acknowledged here, but let me take you a less jurisdictional path. Let me say that my intervention in this case .. [there] is total panic because of my question. My question was very simple: the currency of France is the euro. Point. It cannot be something else. So my intervention was sort of blocking the deal because also the lady who has been condemned to jail for using patu. But on the other hand, currently Athanase Teiri is in jail because police came back and, as much as I read - I don't have more imformation but what I read - suing him for continuing to print, whatever, patus. So they come, the police, to put him back to want to put him in jail because of printing patus. Excuse me - it's another big disaster. Now let's be on the positive side. You can use patus, you, me everybody as they widh because it is not confusing with money legal in France and so on. It's like accepting shells. If you and me accept patu, fine, it's nothing else. Now if someone doesn't want to accept it, that's fine as well."
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