9 Nov 2012

Tahiti's Flosse considers top Paris court if corruption sentence upheld

1:30 pm on 9 November 2012

A former French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse, says he will take his case to France's highest court if the appeal court in Tahiti upholds his jail sentence for corruption.

After two weeks of proceedings, the court in Papeete has wound up the case of the 42 defendants being tried over so-called phantom jobs with the presidency in what is the biggest case of its kind in French legal history.

It says the verdict will be released on February the 7th.

The 42 had been given prison sentences and fines for being part of an illicitly funded system to advance the policies of his Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party dating back to the 1990s.

The defence wants all the accused to be acquitted, saying their contracts with the French Polynesian presidency were approved by successive French high commissioners.

The prosecution insists that Gaston Flosse be jailed for four years and fined 110,000 US dollars, but it says there is reasonable doubt about the culpability of 18 of the defendants and they should be acquitted.