22 Jan 2014

Flosse in fresh bid to overturn Tahiti phantom job jail sentence

2:07 pm on 22 January 2014

The lawyer acting for French Polynesia's president, Gaston Flosse, says he may go to the European Human Rights Court to stop an appeal court case in Paris, which could jail his client.

Last February, the veteran politician was given a four-month suspended jail sentence, a 170,000 US dollar fine and banned from public office for three years for running a network of so-called phantom jobs within the presidency in the 1990s in what has been the biggest case of its kind in French legal history.

The ruling in the appeal court in Papeete is not effective because it is on appeal in France's highest court, which was expected to rule before the end of last year.

Last July, the opposition reportedly asked the French justice minister to try to avert delays in the appeal court case.

It said it didn't want to interfere with the judiciary but ensure that the legal process was carried to its conclusion.

There has been no ruling for nearly a year and a Tahiti newspaper today reports that after a bid by the Flosse team to challenge the constitutionality of the case has failed, it may now test the case as a human rights matter.