25 Nov 2009

Disbarred French Polynesian senator claims betrayal over publicity

11:08 am on 25 November 2009

The French Polynesian senator who has been disbarred as a lawyer for two years says he will lodge a complaint for violation of professional secret.

Richard Tuheiava, who is one of the territory's two members in the French Senate, has told a news conference that he feels betrayed because the press knew of his disbarment before he had been advised of the decision.

He was sanctioned for taking payment without doing his job.

Mr Tuheiava says he has appealed the ruling which relates to affairs dating back to 2007.

He has also denounced the timing of this becoming public, saying the matter became known at a time of significant political developments - a reference to the no confidence motion lodged to oust the Oscar Temaru-led government.

Mr Tuheiava says the territory's credibility may be irreversibly affected by the latest political manoeuvre.