10 Sep 2002

Wallisan man extradited from France to face murder charge in New Caledonia

10:34 am on 10 September 2002

A court in New Caledonia has held a weekend sitting to remand a Wallisian man who was arrested in France last month suspected of killing a Kanak in ethnic violence near Noumea in January.

Press reports in Noumea say the suspect arrived late on Saturday on a flight from France accompanied by three police officers.

He was immediately taken to a Noumea court so he could be remanded.

Had the court not sat police would have had to release him.

The suspect is alleged to have fatally shot Jean-Marie Goyeta in the Noumea suburb of St Louis -- the scene of violence between indigenous Kanaks and Polynesians from Wallis and Futuna.

Media reports say he returned to New Caledonia to defend his family after learning that his father's former house had been burned down in the unrest before Christmas.

A date for a trial has yet to be set.