The trial has opened in French Polynesia of 11 people charged with favouritism over the awarding of an 80 million US dollar contract to lay the Honotua communications cable to Tahiti.
The project was launched in 2006 and signed off with Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Network in 2008 amid rapid changes of government.
Among those charged are three former heads of the telecommunications company OPT as well as a former minister, Emile Vernaudon.
Favouritism can under French law be punished with up to two years imprisonment.
The trial is expected to last until Friday.