15 Jan 2009

French Polynesia's Leontieff probe to be revived

4:06 pm on 15 January 2009

Reports from France say the judge investigating the 1997 disappearance of a French Polynesian journalist, Jean-Pascal Couraud, will be back in Paris next month and may revisit the case of a French Polynesian politician who vanished on a flight in the Tuamotu archipelago in 2002.

The newspaper Le Monde says the judge is interested in the crash of the small aircraft which killed three opposition politicians onboard, including the leader of the Fetia Api Party, Boris Leontieff.

Investigations have failed to conclude why and how the small plane disappeared, with theories suggesting the pilot lacked experience and may have encountered fuel problems.

This comes two weeks after it became known that new documents were found in the home of the veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, purportedly written by a member of his now defunct GIP intervention force, Vetea Cadousteau.

The document, whose authenticity is yet to be established, tells of the abduction, torture and killing of Mr Couraud who was working with Mr Leontieff when he was allegedly kidnapped by the GIP's intelligence unit set up by two French secret service members.

Mr Cadousteau's body was found in a Tahiti valley five years ago.

According to Le Monde, he had suffered a fall but the autopsy report also shows he had a hematoma which could have been caused by a blow to his head.