23 Jul 2009

French Polynesia's Flosse awaits questioning after loss of senatorial immunity

3:44 pm on 23 July 2009

The French Polynesian veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, says he has no intention to be shielded from the judiciary after the French Senate president announced that Mr Flosse's parliamentary immunity has been lifted.

The decision to lift the protection which Mr Flosse has enjoyed as a French senator followed a request by a Tahiti judge seeking to interrogate him in connection with a two-million US dollar corruption case dating back to the years when Mr Flosse was the territory's president.

The Senate president says the Senate bureau has allowed for Mr Flosse to be questioned for two 24 hour periods but any bid to put him into detention depends on a new application to the Senate which won't be convened before September.

Mr Flosse, who is to fly back to Papeete this week, says he will of course follow any summons by the investigative judge.

Five people are in jail over the so-called OPT affair and Mr Flosse has said he is ready to go to prison if they are set free.