22 Sep 2009

Two more detentions in French Polynesia's OPT probe

6:10 pm on 22 September 2009

Investigators in French Polynesia have detained two more people for questioning in connection with the probe into the affairs of the OPT telecommunications company.

According to local television, the two are the treasurer of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party, Marcel Tuihani, and the housekeeper of the Tahoeraa leader, Gaston Flosse, who is alleged to be at the centre of what the prosecutors claim is a pact of corruption.

Their detention follows the arrest of a Tahoeraa technician late last week who has now been transferred to the Tahiti prison for allegedly destroying evidence relevant to the corruption probe.

Mr Flosse said the technician had been asked to repair a scanner.

Among those jailed as part of the investigation is Mr Flosse's secretary and the head of the French advertising agency accused of having paid kickbacks to Mr Flosse.

Mr Flosse, who flew to Paris after being questioned in Tahiti last week, is expected to be back in Papeete in a week to be formally charged which would allow for his parliamentary immunity as senator to be lifted.