23 May 2006

New Caledonia's Rheebu Nuu lodges corruption complaint

3:37 pm on 23 May 2006

The Kanak group Rheebu Nuu has lodged complaints of corruption against the president of New Caledonia's southern province, Philippe Gomes, and the director general of the Goro Nickel company, Ron Renton.

This comes amid a conflict between Rheebu Nuu and Goro which nearly two months ago saw Rheebu Nuu activists destroy 10 million US dollars worth of vehicles and installations at the Goro construction site.

Rheebu Nuu has hired a French lawyer to draft the complaint which alleges that Mr Gomes has mixed his political post with his business interests.

It claims that he got a contract with Goro to supply 900 air-conditioning units.

The daily newspaper, Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes, reports that the complaint against Mr Renton alleges that he committed an act of active corruption by accepting the contracts to win favours with the southern province.

The paper says it's not clear whether the judiciary will accept the complaint.