11 Feb 2009

French newspaper says police wrote letter found in Flosse home in Paris

11:20 am on 11 February 2009

A French newspaper says a controversial and incriminating letter found by police last year in the possession of French Polynesia's veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, was a fake which had been written by a police officer.

The document, whose authenticity is yet to be certified, gave an account of how French Polynesian journalist, Jean-Pascal Couraud, was abducted and killed in 1997 by four members of the now disbanded GIP intervention force.

The Journal de Dimanche newspaper says the letter was purported to have been written by one of the alleged killers who was found dead five years ago in what are now considered to be suspicious circumstances.

The paper says the police officer had been mandated by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy as part of a campaign against his predecessor, Jacques Chirac, and associates, including Mr Flosse.

The existence of the controversial document came to light in December as a probe of the alleged murder of Mr Couraud is in its fifth year.

Mr Flosse says he has sued several media outlets over the story but none has so far received documents to show that action is being taken.