29 Sep 2009

Expert says appeal keeps Flosse's senate safe

1:22 pm on 29 September 2009

A French constitutional expert says French Polynesia's veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, will keep his seat as French senator and French Polynesian assembly member because he appealed to France's highest court.

Flosse was convicted for abuse of public funds in Tahiti's court of appeal, with the ruling adding that he would be ineligible for public office even if he appealed.

The process to strip him of his mandates is yet to be completed but a French expert, Didier Maus, has told RFO radio that Flosse can keep his senate seat unless he loses his case in the highest court.

Should Flosse lose, the case would go back to another appeal court.

Professor Maus says the case is straightforward and it shouldn't take years to be resolved.

In two days, Flosse is to be summoned in the investigation into the OPT corruption case and should he be charged, a third bid will be made to have his parliamentary immunity lifted.