12 Jun 2013

More acrimony in Tahiti over Barrillot sacking

3:35 pm on 12 June 2013

French Polynesia's opposition has accused the President, Gaston Flosse, of smearing the name of Bruno Barrillot, who is the former head of the territory's body concerned with the aftermath of the French nuclear weapons tests.

Mr Barrillot, who is an acclaimed French authority in his field, was sacked last week in what test veterans believe was a political decision taken at a high level.

The sacking came only days after the new minister in Papeete had reportedly confirmed his re-appointment.

Mr Flosse is being accused of lying about the salary Mr Barrillot was paid and of being dismissive of his organisation's work.

The opposition says his organisation had approved funding of about one million US dollars and succeeded in getting France to pay for 70 million dollars worth of clean-up on atolls left with chemicals and rubbish.

The veterans group says Mr Barrillot is being pursued by a vengeful hatred.

He is reportedly set to return to France.