8 Feb 2013

French Polynesia's Flosse gets four-year suspended jail sentence

9:29 am on 8 February 2013

The French Polynesian court of appeal has given a former president, Gaston Flosse, a four-year suspended jail sentence for corruption.

He has also been fined 170,000 US dollars for running a network of so-called phantom jobs with the presidency in what has been the biggest case of its kind in French legal history.

The court has also ruled that he be deprived of his civic rights for three years, meaning he cannot contest any elections.

When he was first convicted last year, Flosse said he would take the case to Paris, should the appeal court today uphold the conviction.

A total of 42 people were given prison sentences and fines last year for being part of an illicitly funded system to advance the policies of his Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party dating back to the 1990s.

Last month, Gaston Flosse was given a five-year prison sentence for corruption for getting about two million US dollars in kickbacks over 12 years for awarding public sector contracts to a French advertising executive.