23 Jan 2006

Top French judge in Tahiti suspended

11:32 am on 23 January 2006

A top French judge in French Polynesia, Jean-Bernard Taliercio, has been suspended following a probe begun by the judicial service commission two years ago.

Media reports in Papeete say Mr Taliercio is alleged to have had friendships inappropriate for a judge and having acted in real estate affairs incompatible with his position.

The reports say questions have been raised about links to some businesspeople and a former president, Gaston Flosse, as well as the management of some his court cases.

Mr Taliercio says he is the victim of a plot while his lawyer says moves are afoot to have him removed to protect the interests of others.

He had been a judge in Papeete for 21 years.