21 Jun 2006

Former French Polynesian president Flosse gets suspended jail sentence for corruption

8:17 pm on 21 June 2006

French Polynesia's former president, Gaston Flosse, has been given a suspended three-month jail sentence for corruption.

The criminal court in Tahiti found him guilty of abusing his political office in connection with a hotel purchase made with his son.

This relates to the purchase of the Hotel Taharaa from a Japanese investor whose business faltered when the Japanese property market declined at the end of the 1980's.

Last month, the prosecutor in Papeete had said Mr Flosse was responsible but not guilty and should be acquitted.

But while the court found him guilty it also ruled that he won't be deprived of his civic rights which means that he continues to be a member of the territorial assembly and a member of the French senate.

Mr Flosse is in Paris and has been scheduled to join a summit with Pacific leaders called by President Jacques Chirac for early next week.

It is not known if there will be an appeal.