Many French Polynesian assembly members, most of them women, have signed an open letter to the French president Nicolas Sarkozy to express their dismay at the interrogation and jailing of several women in connection with the OPT corruption probe.
The letter has been signed by more than two dozen politicians from across the political spectrum.
It says the probe has assumed incredible dimensions, questioning whether lives need to be ruined to get at a single man, a reference to the veteran politician Gaston Flosse, who has now been charged with corruption over the affair.
The letter doesn't name the women but among them are Mr Flosse's private secretary, Melba Ortas, who has been in jail for two months and Mr Flosse's partner, Pascale Haiti, who was jailed in France last week.
The letter says while there is no question of interfering with the judicial process, the signatories call on Mr Sarkozy to ensure the honour and integrity of the women can be retained.