14 Feb 2003

French Polynesian government rejects burglary allegations

4:22 pm on 14 February 2003

The French Polynesian government has laid a complaint against media outlets which implied that it had a role in a burglary of the holiday home on Moorea of a judge of the administrative court.

The government of President Gaston Flosse has issued a statement, accusing mainly opposition media of being pernicious in trying to implicate the government in the burglary, days after the alleged culprits were detained.

The statement says it is defamatory to say the government had a role in the burglary of the home of Alfred Poupet.

The controversy comes only weeks after a controversy over the sinking of a damaged cruise ship, the Windsong, off Tahiti.

The vessel, which was badly damaged in a fire off Tahaa last year, was to be inspected by assessors in Papeete's port.

But the French Polynesian government authorised the ship's disposal in the middle of the night in apparent defiance of a order of the administrative court which called for the deferral of the proposed sinking.