Jail term sought for Pakumotu members in Tahiti

5:57 pm on 28 October 2016

The prosecution in French Polynesia has called for a four-year jail sentence for self-styled king of the Pakumotu republic following a rebellion two years ago.

However, Athanase Teiri was not in the criminal court for medical reasons.

Local television said two other of the six suspects were also absent from the trial.

French Polynesia's court building

French Polynesia's court building Photo: RNZI

They were charged with circulating a fake currency, organising a combat group and belonging to a combat group after a confrontation in January 2014, when police were shot at as they tried to apprehend the group's leader.

18 police officers, who were involved in the operation, were civil parties in the case, seeking SUS2,700 each in damages for the stress caused.

The defence said too much had been made of the incident, describing the self-styled king as a narcissist.

A verdict is expected on 31st January.

The Pakamotu group had been defying the French state for years by purporting to have its own government, which said it would replace the Pacific franc with its Pakumotu currency, the patu.

Three years ago, a woman belonging to the group was given a two-month jail sentence for trying to pay for petrol with a 100 patu note.

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