2 Dec 2009

French Polynesia's Merceron fined for favouritism

10:29 am on 2 December 2009

A French Polynesian criminal court has fined a former government minister, Armelle Merceron, more than 25,000 US dollars for favouritism in awarding contracts.

According to Tahitipresse, she was found guilty of skewing the awarding of more than 1 million US dollars worth of audit contracts.

She approved the deals as part of a health care reorganisation in 2000 when she was the health minister under the then President Gaston Flosse.

The court dismissed a request by the prosecutor to declare her ineligible to hold office for one year.

It also convicted a senior health department official, giving her a suspended jail sentence, a fine and banning her for three years from any position that would allow her awarding public sector contracts.

The heads of the company that benefitted from the deal have also been fined and given a suspended jail sentence.

Armelle Merceron was last a minister in the government of Oscar Temaru which was ousted in a no confidence vote last week.