17 Mar 2010

Police in French Polynesia detain Ortas in new probe

10:32 am on 17 March 2010

Reports from French Polynesia say that the private secretary of the veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, has again been arrested over an unspecified matter.

The arrest of Melba Ortas is reported by the Nouvelles de Tahiti newspaper which says her renewed detention is not linked to the OPT affair.

Last year, she was jailed for several months as part of the corruption probe.

Mrs Ortas was alleged to have picked up an envelope with 12,000 US dollars in cash from an advertising agency in Papeete every month on behalf of Mr Flosse and his party.

Her arrest last year dismayed many women assembly members who signed an open letter to the French president Nicolas Sarkozy to express their objection to the police action.