29 Apr 2010

Puputauki appeals French Polynesia sentence in Paris

12:00 pm on 29 April 2010

The head of French Polynesia's disbanded GIP intervention force, Rere Puputauki, has appealed his jail sentence for involuntary homicide over the sinking in 2003 of the Tahiti Nui IV which claimed seven lives.

This comes after last week's conviction in the court of appeal which gave him a four-year prison term and his deputy, Yannick Boosie, a three-year sentence.

According to the Nouvelles de Tahiti newspaper, the sentence is being appealed in the highest court in Paris.

Puputauki was found responsible for the poor state of the vessel which sank on its way to Rimatara.

Three days after the fatal sinking the then President, Gaston Flosse, said the ship had passed its annual checks.

Mr Flosse, as the person ultimately at the top of the GIP, can, however, no longer be prosecuted because of a three-year statute of limitations.