14 Dec 2013

Tahiti court releases king of Pakumotu republic

8:56 am on 14 December 2013

A court in French Polynesia has released the king of the self-styled Pakumotu republic after police held him over the possession and distribution of illegal money.

Athanase Teiri and his daughter, who have been defying the French state for three years, are due to appear in court again on January the 21st and have to report to police twice a week until the start of the trial.

Police had this week seized millions of illegal patu at their home after the group said it would put its currency into circulation.

Athanase Teiri is also accused of sending threatening letters to a range of office holders.

Last week, a woman belonging to the Pakumotu group was jailed for two months for trying to pay for petrol with an illegal 100 patu note.

The prosecutor warned that circulating an invalid currency can be punished with up to five years in prison.