2 Apr 2014

Call for Tahiti's Flosse to drop le Monde defamation case

2:46 pm on 2 April 2014

Reports from French Polynesia say the prosecutor has suggested that a defamation case brought by the president, Gaston Flosse, against the French newspaper Le Monde be thrown out.

It was lodged last year after Mr Flosse objected to an article about the 1997 disappearance of a Tahiti journalist, Jean-Pascal Couraud.

The paper said after a nine-year investigation, three men could face charges for kidnapping and drowning the journalist off Tahiti.

It disclosed that a former spy of Mr Flosse's illegal intelligence unit reportedly testified in 2012 and pointed at three members of the now disbanded GIP militia, Leonard Puputauki, and two of his subordinates, Tutu Manate and Tino Mara, as being involved in the journalist's presumed death.

In February, two Le Monde journalists and its director were charged but Les Nouvelles de Tahiti says the prosecution now wants the case to be dropped.