17 Jan 2013

French Polynesia's Flosse says he will appeal jail sentence

5:36 am on 17 January 2013

French Polynesia's former president and a member of the French Senate, Gaston Flosse, says he is the victim of a political trial and will appeal against his jail sentence.

Flosse was sentenced to five years in prison for corruption but claims he has been convicted on behest of the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Outside the court he said he thought that Mr Sarkozy was gone but obviously he is still there.

The case centred on a French advertising executive Hubert Haddad who paid about two million US dollars in kickbacks over 12 years to Flosse and his political party to get public sector contracts.

Haddad has also been given a five-year jail sentence.

A total of five people were convicted and ordered to jointly repay the OPT 5.5 million US dollars.

Next month, the appeal court is to give its verdict in a case brought by Flosse who a year ago was sentenced to four years in jail for running a network of phantom employees to the benefit of his political party.