1 Apr 2010

France says no to declassification of nuclear test documents

5:35 pm on 1 April 2010

The French defence minister, Herve Morin, has rejected a request to declassify documents about France's nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific.

The request had been made by French Polynesia's assembly president, Philip Schyle, saying the more the truth is told the better the pages on the common history can be turned.

His bid came amid widespread dissatisfaction in Tahiti and its islands over the French law to compensate some of the victims of the tests.

In a letter, Mr Morin explained his rejection by saying detailed descriptions contained in the files would be susceptible to help countries which are trying to develop nuclear weapons.

He says, however, that the committee charged with assessing compensation claims has access to all documents, including the classified ones.