28 Sep 2009

Flosse lawyer says senate position unaffected by Tahiti appeal court ruling

3:28 pm on 28 September 2009

A lawyer acting for French Polynesia's veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, has dismissed a Tahiti court ruling that Flosse's parliamentary mandates are to be terminated despite the option of an appeal to France's highest court.

Jean-Yves le Borgne says Flosse's parliamentary immunity as French senator remains.

Last week, Flosse was given a suspended jail sentence for abusing public funds over a 2004 election night reception.

Mr le Borgne says for months there has been this idea floating around the territory of throwing Flosse into jail, adding that legally that's not possible.

The lawyer made the comment as Flosse returned from Paris to Tahiti where he is to be questioned this week over the OPT affair, which has seen several of his associates jailed as part of the investigation.

This interrogation is likely to see him charged, which would allow the investigators to make a third bid to have his immunity lifted.