21 Jan 2010

Flosse fails to move OPT case away from Tahiti

11:49 am on 21 January 2010

France's highest court has rejected a bid to move the investigation into the so-called OPT affair away from French Polynesia.

The lawyer of one of the key suspects, the veteran politician Gaston Flosse, claimed that the climate for the probe in Papeete was too passionate and therefore undermined the notion of fairness.

The OPT affair centres on claims that he and his political party received kickbacks over a decade from a French advertising company in return for granting it public sector contracts.

Despite professing his innocence, Gaston Flosse was jailed for much of November and December as part of the investigation.

He admitted receiving some funds but says it wasn't for personal use but to pay alimony to former mistresses.

Gaston Flosse was charged with corruption in September and the French senate lifted his parliamentary immunity in November.