5 Oct 2006

Police in French Polynesia seek source of prosecution criticism

2:47 pm on 5 October 2006

It has been revealed in French Polynesia that police questioned three people in August in a bid to find the source of a claim which cast doubt on the integrity of the public prosecutor's office.

The three people reportedly belong to a group seeking to establish the truth behind the disappearance of a Tahiti journalist, Jean-Pascal Couraud, in 1997.

The journalist's family lodged a murder complaint against unknown persons nearly two years ago after a former spy employed by the former president claimed Jean-Pascal Couraud had been kidnapped and drowned off Tahiti.

Until the spy's claim was made two years ago, it was believed the journalist might have been committed suicide.

The family has said the investigation has been slow and in May, they issued a statement, saying members of the territory's judiciary were interfering with the investigation.

They have said the probe has been taking place in a climate of fear and efforts are being made within the judiciary to thwart the investigation.

Jean-Pascal Couraud disappeared while working for an opposition politician who vanished on a campaign trip four years ago.