24 Nov 2009

France's TV3 boss summoned for defaming Tahiti's Flosse

4:03 pm on 24 November 2009

The head of the television channel France 3, Patrick de Carolis, has been summoned to appear in a Paris criminal court in January for allegedly defaming French Polynesia's veteran politician, Gaston Flosse.

The information has been released by Mr Flosse's political party in Papeete.

The case relates to a documentary shown in June last year about the 1997 disappearance of a Tahitian journalist, Jean-Pascal Couraud.

After the programme was aired Mr Flosse claimed it had violated the basic principles of democracy.

The television programme's presenter, Elise Lucet, and a reporter, Magali Serre, have been summoned for alleged complicity to defame Mr Flosse.

An investigation into Mr Couraud's disappearance was launched five years ago after a former spy of Mr Flosse's now disbanded GIP militia claimed Mr Couraud had been kidnapped and was drowned off Tahiti.

This comes as Mr Flosse has been in detention in Tahiti for two weeks as part of a corruption probe.

He was to be set free now but the prosecution has appealed against his release as several joint interrogations with other suspects are still pending.