18 Feb 2013

Call to review 1959 conviction of Tahiti's Pouvanaa

5:12 am on 18 February 2013

An extraordinary sitting of French Polynesia's assembly has unanimously passed a resolution asking the French justice ministry to review the conviction of the late politician Pouvanaa a Oopa.

After a controversial trial in 1959 for allegedly fomenting unrest, Pouvanaa a Oopa was jailed for eight years and exiled for 15, before being pardoned and allowed to return to Tahiti in 1968.

The assembly vote comes 25 years after his family first called for a retrial.

A year ago, the then French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, gave a special televised pre-election address to Tahiti, saying the files about Pouvanaa would be opened to allow for a possible re-trial.

Today a statue in his honour is in front of the territorial assembly and a key street in Papeete has been named after him.