29 May 2006

French Court upholds decision in Papeete to allow convicted minister to remain in office

8:44 am on 29 May 2006

Reports from French Polynesia say the French supreme court has upheld a decision by the appeal court in Papeete to allow a convicted minister to remain in the territorial assembly.

In January, the appeal court ruled that the then telecommuncations minister, Emile Vernaudon, be given a suspended one-year jail sentence for corruption while also saying he would not be disqualified from public office.

He neither resigned nor was sacked by Oscar Temaru but a citizen, Yves Conroy, said under the Electoral Act, Mr Vernaudon had become inelegible.

According to a media report in Papeete, the supreme court in Paris has concluded that it could not overturn a ruling by an appeal court in Tahiti.

Mr Vernaudon quit the Temaru government last month as part of a failed opposition plan to oust Mr Temaru and install Mr Vernaudon as the territory's new president.