26 Oct 2009

Flosse alleges French human rights abuse

7:59 am on 26 October 2009

French Polynesia's veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, has told the Depeche de Tahiti newspaper that the French authorities violated the European Human Rights Convention when investigators detained his partner, Pascale Haiti, in Paris last month.

He gave no details.

Ms Haiti was transferred to Tahiti and charged in connection with the OPT affair, over which key suspects have been held in prison for months.

Mr Flosse, who has also been charged with corruption but cannot be detained because of his parliamentary immunity, says he is repulsed by the

prolonged jailing of fellow suspects, such as the French advertising executive, Hubert Haddad, in Tahiti.

Mr Haddad is alleged to have paid kickbacks to Mr Flosse's party to get public sector contracts but Mr Flosse says Mr Haddad only helped fund the party because it appeared to be the only one that was able to stand up against independence.

Mr Flosse has also rejected claims that he has accumulated wealth, saying his debts exceed his assets, which he says is true and can be verified.