5 Jan 2011

French Polynesia defers Flosse spy decision until February

11:27 am on 5 January 2011

The judicial authorities in Tahiti have again deferred a reply to the lawyer acting for French Polynesia's former president, Gaston Flosse, who had asked for his client to be no longer investigated over espionage claims.

A decision is now to be made on February 1st on whether to sustain the charges that Mr Flosse was complicit in violating the privacy of several individuals by running an intelligence service.

The latest delay is reportedly due to a procedural error.

If found guilty Mr Flosse could be jailed for up to a year.

Mr Flosse says there were several agencies within the presidency but they were not directly responsible to him.

The former head of the intelligence unit, Felicien Micheloni, has said his team only shadowed political rivals in day time and in public places on behalf of Mr Flosse.

Mr Flosse has reportedly said that the French security service and the French high commission were fully informed about his unit's activities.