9 Dec 2009

French Polynesia's Flosse and a advertisting executive face questions

7:20 am on 9 December 2009

French Polynesia's jailed former president, Gaston Flosse, is today due to be questioned simultaneously with the French advertising executive, Hubert Haddad, over alleged corrupt deals involving the OPT telecommunications company.

Mr Haddad, who is suspected of having paid kickbacks for years to get public sector contracts in Tahiti, was freed last month after half a year in preventive detention.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Gaston Flosse was returned to Tahiti's Nuutania prison last week after the investigative judges feared that he and his associates could apply pressure on witnesses in the OPT affair. This week's long-awaited confrontation with key suspects come as the Paris newspaper Le Figaro reports that during interrogations in October, Gaston Flosse admitted to taking money for personal use. The paper says the sum suspected to have been embezzled at the OPT now exceeds four million US dollars. Later this week, Gaston Flosse will also face a former OPT board chairman who, along with Hubert Haddad, reportedly already admitted to having made regular payments."