9 Dec 2009

Former French Polynesian administration ordered to repay US$m2.3

2:24 pm on 9 December 2009

A court in French Polynesia has ordered the veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, and 23 others to repay 2.8 million US dollars of public funds whose misspending he authorised as president.

Gaston Flosse, who is in jail as part of a probe into an alleged corruption affair, has also been fined 135,000 US dollars for making the payments.

Those who benefitted from the abuse are the new vice president, Edouard Fritch, and the territory's two members of the French assembly, Bruno Sandras and Michel Buillard, who is also the mayor of Papeete.

They have been ordered to repay between 100,000 and 300,000 US dollars each.

The beneficiaries in question were deployed to support the then ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party, without there being any gain for the public.

The lawyer acting for Gaston Flosse has told local radio that he will lodge an appeal.

He had earlier said that the process was flawed as part of case was based on expressions in Tahitian that were never translated.