11 Nov 2010

Flosse wants Tahiti spy probe charges dropped

4:31 pm on 11 November 2010

The lawyer acting for French Polynesia's former president, Gaston Flosse, has asked for his client to be no longer investigated over claims that he was complicit in violating the privacy of several individuals.

The newspaper, La Depeche, reported the request a day after the former head of Mr Flosse's now disbanded intelligence unit, Felicien Micheloni, said in an interview in Corsica that it hadn't placed microphones in any homes but only shadowed individuals in day time and in public places.

Mr Micheloni has said the information was collated for Mr Flosse who wanted to be informed about his political rivals.

Several of Mr Flosse's associates have been charged in connection with illicit espionage on politicians and lawyers, with confrontations in front of judges in Tahiti due later this month.

Mr Flosse has reportedly said that the French security service and the French high commission were fully informed about his unit's activities.

According to the newspaper, the high commissioner has declined to comment about an ongoing investigation.

Two weeks ago, the court of appeal in Tahiti upheld a fine for Mr Flosse for having obstructed a probe into the defunct intelligence unit, whose records have all disappeared or been wiped.