30 Sep 2008

French special investigators probe death of French Polynesia journalist

10:58 am on 30 September 2008

French special investigators have carried out a series of raids in French Polynesia, while investigating a case involving former President Gaston Flosse.

Oceania Flash reports that the squad raided Mr Flosse's home as part of an ongoing inquiry into the mysterious disappearance of local journalist Jean-Pascal Couraud, in December 1997.

Mr Flosse was the President of French Polynesia at the time.

Mr Couraud's family have alleged that Jean-Pascal was killed by members of a so-called Intervention Group, the GIP, which Mr Flosse set up a few years earlier.

Mr Couraud was investigating possible links between Mr Flosse and the then French President Jacques Chirac involving a secret bank account located in Japan.

The offices of Mr Flosse's party, the Tahoeraa Huiraatira, have also been searched.

Mr Couraud's disappearance was first treated as a suicide, but since last year, a change of magistrate in charge of the inquest has reactivated the murder theory.

Mr Couraud's body has never been found.

Mr Flosse has just been re-elected as one of French Polynesia's two members of the French Senate