12 Jan 2015

Flosse's OPT retrial in Tahiti deferred

1:59 pm on 12 January 2015

A fresh bid will be made in French Polynesia in April to try a former president and a French executive over a major corruption case involving the OPT telecommunications company.

Gaston Flosse

Gaston Flosse Photo: AFP

The case was dismissed by the court of appeal last year, quashing the five-year prison sentence given to each Gaston Flosse and Hubert Haddad.

The prosecution wanted the case to be revisited this week but this has been delayed until April, prompting Flosse's lawyer to tell local media that the entire procedure is preposterous.

When they had been convicted in 2013, Haddad was found guilty of paying about two million US dollars in kickbacks over 12 years to Flosse and his political party to get public sector contracts.

A lawyer, who had acted on behalf of the OPT, James Lau then secured a court order for the OPT to be reimbursed 5.6 million US dollars.

But when Flosse was elected president in 2013, Mr Lau was taken off the case.

At the time Mr Lau expressed regret that those convicted have taken over key aspects of the case before they were due to be tried in the appeal court.

Flosse lost office in September because of a corruption conviction.

Gaston Flosse and Hubert Haddad

Gaston Flosse and Hubert Haddad Photo: AFP

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