16 Apr 2007

French Polynesia prosecutor demands suspended prison sentences for former intelligence officials

6:11 am on 16 April 2007

The public prosecutor in French Polynesia has demanded suspended jail sentences of three to nine months for three former intelligence officials and a police commander in connection with their actions to clear up a theft of sensitive information.

The case relates to the disappearance of files and money in early 2004 from the office of the then president, Gaston Flosse, as the territorial election campaign was entering its final phase.

The intelligence officials employed by Mr Flosse contacted a top police official and decided to detain two people suspected of the theft for several days and to fingerprint them.

Mr Flosse never lodged a formal complaint with police over the theft.

The two men who had been held by his agents complained that they were seized by people assuming police powers illegally.

The police commander has already been in court over his role in the affair because he was found to have acted without there being a formal complaint lodged with the police.