15 Sep 2005

French high commissioner in Tahiti defends intervention in nuclear probe

10:18 am on 15 September 2005

The new French high commissioner in French Polynesia, Anne Boquet, has defended last month's decision by the state to fight a probe into the legacy of the French nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific.

In May, leaked French defence department records detailed a test in the Gambier islands in 1966.

The French Polynesian assembly launched its first inquiry under a new autonomy statute, but the French government has appealed the process in a bid to shut down the probe.

And Mrs Boquet said in an interview with local television the case should now be left with the courts.

"To the extent that court action has been taken I think the judge has to be allowed to decide I'm not of the idea that these appeals should be withdrawn while I understand that there is a hope for transparency from the French state."