2 Jun 2010

New Caledonia President Gomes indicted over contract

12:56 pm on 2 June 2010

The judicial authorities in New Caledonia have indicted the President, Philippe Gomes, for allegedly misusing his position over a 2005 and 2006 contract involving a company he owned.

Noumea's daily newspaper says he is accused of misuse of company assets over his company's sale of air conditioning equipment to a mining company which was given an operating licence by Mr Gomes, when he was the president of the southern province.

According to the paper, the deal was for more than 1.3 million US dollars.

The affair dates back to the launch of the Goro Nickel project which has been taken over by Brazil's Vale comonay.

It earlier involved charges against the company of Mr Gomes, with him being questioned as a witness.

At the time, his lawyer said the action taken against Mr Gomes was politically motivated.