7 Jan 2010

Legal action may ensue French Polynesian politicians' tiff

5:49 pm on 7 January 2010

There has been a further sharp exchange in French Polynesia between President Gaston Tong Sang and the opposition's Oscar Temaru who has this week said he will oust the new government no matter at what cost.

Mr Tong Sang has threatened to take legal action against Mr Temaru for remarking that the running of the country cannot be left in the hands of people who have abused public funds.

The allegation relates to the 2002 purchase of Anuanuraro atoll by the then government, which included Mr Tong Sang, at what is believed to have been at a price five times its value.

A judicial investigation of the purchase has been completed and may result in charges but according to Mr Temaru the facts are overwhelming, suggesting that Mr Tong Sang was instrumental in what the opposition says was a shameful farce.

In response to Mr Tong Sang's claim that the atoll could now be sold at a higher price, the opposition is accusing him of spreading falsehoods to deceive the public.