3 Nov 2009

French Polynesian court to conclude case against former governing elite

7:09 am on 3 November 2009

A court in French Polynesia is today expected to conclude a long-running case against the former governing elite.

This follows an accounts office report which looked at how Gaston Flosse and 22 of his associates misspent money.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"The misuse dates back to the dominant days of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party of Gaston Flosse of the mid-1990s until 2004."

23 people are this week facing the court and expect to be ordered to repay public funds, estimated to be in excess of two million US dollars. However, two of the accused have since died as the judiciary gradually takes apart the former Flosse administration which had the backing of former French President, Jacques Chirac. Among those facing repayment demands are the former vice president, Edouard Fritch, and the mayor of Papeete, Michel Buillard, who is one of the territory's two members of the French assembly.