31 Mar 2010

Flosse in court over defunct French Polynesia espionage unit

12:12 pm on 31 March 2010

The prosecution in French Polynesia has called for a 16,000 US dollar fine for the veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, for obstructing the examination of a now defunct intelligence unit which was operational when he was the territory's president a decade ago.

This comes after he was in Papeete's criminal court over the alleged destruction of evidence pertinent to the espionage service which had been staffed by former French intelligence officers.

The probe of the accounts office into the running of the administration found that records of the unit's work had all vanished after his election loss in 2004.

It was also revealed that computer harddrives were wiped clean.

The intelligence service, which was linked to the presidency but also had an office in the Papeete port area, was tasked with keeping a tab on political rivals.

Although some of its activities were illegal, the French authorities tolerated them.

Mr Flosse has told the court that he gave no orders to destroy documents.

A verdict in the case is expected on April the 27th.