10 Oct 2011

Vernaudon to stay in French Polynesia jail

12:06 pm on 10 October 2011

A jailed French Polynesian politician, Emile Vernaudon, has failed in his formal bid to be freed - less than a year after beginning a five-year prison term.

Vernaudon was imprisoned for misspending 1.4 million US dollars of funds at the state-owned OPT telecommunications company.

A Tahiti court has considered his request to be released but according to Tahitipresse, the judges upheld his jailing, saying the demand is premature.

The case that led to his conviction was launched after an investigation had found excessive spending at the OPT.

It was established that Vernaudon had claimed reimbursement for restaurant meals while he was in hospital, and that he billed the OPT for car fuel, pretending he had driven his vehicle 125,000 kilometres in one year.