Fritch dismissive of Protestants' court plans

2:29 pm on 10 August 2016

The French Polynesian president Edouard Fritch says the Protestant church's plan to take France to the International Criminal Court over its nuclear weapons tests is pointless.

Edouard Fritch meeting French foreign ministry officials in Paris

Edouard Fritch meeting French foreign ministry officials in Paris Photo: supplied

He made the comment after a weekend Synod decided to file a case in The Hague for alleged crimes against humanity.

Mr Fritch says to get compensation it is better to negotiate with the French government than to seek the protection of international organisations which have no power.

He says he believes that the French president has understood what the tests' aftermath has meant for French Polynesia.

Photo taken 06 June 2000 of part of the atoll of Mururoa, four years after the cessation of French nuclear testing. Almost all the installations that sheltered up to 3,000 people for 30 years have been dismantled , giving the natural vegetation a chance to grow again.

Photo taken 06 June 2000 of part of the atoll of Mururoa, four years after the cessation of French nuclear testing. Almost all the installations that sheltered up to 3,000 people for 30 years have been dismantled , giving the natural vegetation a chance to grow again. Photo: ERIC FEFERBERG / AFP

Yet he says the proposed changes to the French compensation law are unsatisfactory and he will work through the French parliament to win recognition of the nuclear legacy.

Mr Fritch says there are still avenues left for a dialogue with France.

Until 1996, France carried out 193 nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific but only a handful of people have been found to have suffered poor health because of radiation exposure.

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