27 May 2010

Amid corruption probe, Fritch spends night in police custody in Tahiti

2:14 pm on 27 May 2010

French Polynesia's vice-president, Edouard Fritch, has spent the night in police custody following his detention yesterday as part of a probe into alleged corruption.

Reports say he is being questioned to determine whether his party paid any money to an assembly member, Noa Tetuanui, for him to support its motion of no confidence in 2004 to oust the administration of Oscar Temaru.

So far no charges have been laid.

According to a report in the Nouvelles de Tahiti earlier this month, Mr Tetuanui admitted that he received money from Gaston Flosse, who is Mr Fritch's father-in-law and party colleague.

But last October, Mr Flosse's party said it never paid any money to Mr Tetuanui for him to support its motion.

At the time of his defection in 2004, Mr Tetuanui said he viewed Mr Temaru's government as incompetent and objected to the assembly president betraying Republican values by installing a crucifix in the assembly.