22 Oct 2009

French Polynesian judges question Flosse about funding sources

11:59 am on 22 October 2009

The public prosecutor in French Polynesia, Jose Thorel, says the former president, Gaston Flosse, was questioned by investigative judges for three hours to get details about the funds made available to him.

The politician was interrogated for the third time in connection with the OPT affair which centres on allegations that he received kickbacks worth two million US dollars for granting public sector contracts to a French advertising executive.

Mr Thorel has told the AFP news agency that in particular the judges wanted to know whether his properties and art collection were financed by what he calls a pact of corruption.

He says Gaston Flosse spoke of smaller sums he received that allowed him to pursue policies to the benefit of his country.

His lawyer said the questioning took place in a relaxed atmosphere punctuated by outbursts of laughter.

Attempts to have Senator Flosse's parliamentary immunity lifted have failed.