31 Dec 2012

Investigators in Tahiti release New Caledonia businessman after two months

11:19 am on 31 December 2012

Investigators in French Polynesia have released a leading New Caledonian businessman, Bill Ravel, after holding him in Tahiti's Nuutania jail for nearly two months.

According to La Depeche de Tahiti, Mr Ravel remains charged with corruption over his alleged payments to the secretary general of the confederation of independent unions, Cyril Legayic.

Mr Ravel is alleged to have paid him 160,000 US dollars in cash over four years to contain strikes at his companies in Papeete.

One of Mr Ravel's associates, Gaston Tetuanui, as well as Mr Legayic are about to enter a third month in custody.

The owner of a leading supermarket, Louis Wane, was also charged with corruption this month.

He is accused of having paid Mr Legayic money for similar reasons although Mr Legayic has reportedly claimed that the money was a loan.