7 Apr 2005

Call for probe of disappearance of French Polynesian opposition politician three years ago

8:20 pm on 7 April 2005

The widow of a leading French Polynesian opposition politician who disappeared three years ago has called on the territorial assembly to set up an inquiry into the circumstances of his death.

The small aircraft carrying the head of the Fetia Api Party, Boris Leontieff, and four other people vanished on a flight in the Tuamotu islands.

Walter Zweifel with this report.

"Celine Leontieff says questions remain about what happened to her husband, Boris Leontieff, fellow politicians, Lucien Kimitete and Arsen Tuairau, whose plane disappeared in May 2002. There has been no trace of any wreckage and to date she has failed to get any conclusive explanation from the judiciary. Her call for a new probe comes amid a fresh inquiry into the disappearance more than seven years ago of journalist, Jean Pascal Couraud, who was her husband's media adviser. A former spy has alleged that the journalist was kidnapped and drowned, fuelling speculation that there may have been foul play with the plane. The assembly's interim speaker immediately agreed to assist her within the available judicial means."