16 Mar 2007

Appeal court upholds jail sentence of French Polynesian man in assembly knife incident

11:23 am on 16 March 2007

The court of appeal in French Polynesia has upheld an 18-month sentence given to a man for brandishing a knife in the territorial assembly in 2004.

Patrick Mao was was overpowered on the assembly floor while carrying a knife during the no-confidence debate which ended with the fall of the first government led by Oscar Temaru.

The former President, Gaston Flosse, then accused Mao of planing to assassinate him.

But the court convicted him only for violence and threats.

Mao had claimed that he was angry with one of Mr Temaru's supporters, Noa Tetuanui, who switched sides to vote with Mr Flosse to oust the government.

Mao said he wanted to slap Mr Tetuanui because the fall of the government affected his son's chance of getting a job.

Mao has lost his appeal which means that he will have to serve three months in prison, with the other 15 months being suspended