21 Mar 2008

French Polynesian appeal court ruling in Vernaudon case deferred

1:33 pm on 21 March 2008

The appeal court in French Polynesia has deferred the release of its judgement in a corruption case involving the mayor of Mahina, Emile Vernaudon.

The ruling was due this week but has been put off until April the 17th.

A year ago, he was given an 18-month suspended jail sentence for a corrupt land deal arranged during his time as government minister.

He appealed the sentence which was to deprive him of his civic rights for five years.

Mr Vernaudon has been in jail since December as part of an investigation into alleged fraud.

Last weekend, the list led by him won the municipal election.

He is a key member of the opposition To Tatou Aia coalition which is the local partner of France's ruling UMP Party.