6 Nov 2008

French Polynesia's Flosse gets extension in latest finance case

4:14 pm on 6 November 2008

The French Polynesian judiciary has given the veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, another three months to appear in court over the alleged misuse of public funds following the 2004 general election night.

Mr Flosse, who was the territory's president, organised a massive reception for his Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party at the presidential palace on election night assuming he would increase his majority and win a another five-year term.

After his shock defeat, the entertainment bill was left for the new government to pay but the administration of Oscar Temaru refused to do so.

Mr Flosse, who in September was re-elected as member of the French senate, is in Paris and his lawyer has won a deferral of his case until early February.

Meanwhile, the lawyer has failed to get a further extension in another case related to the alleged misuse of public funds over the hiring of so-called 99 fake employees.

The court refused the demand which leaves Mr Flosse five days to take the matter to a higher court in France.

This comes a day after the French Polynesian assembly voted against Mr Flosse's bid to have questionable expenditure declared to have been in the public good.

He and his supporters have been instructed to repay more than three million US dollars.