12 Jan 2011

Temaru drops French Polynesia spy accusations

12:22 pm on 12 January 2011

The president of the French Polynesian assembly, Oscar Temaru, has confirmed that he has withdrawn a complaint for invasion of privacy by a now disbanded intelligence unit.

Mr Temaru has told Tahitipresse that he decided to do so after talking to his lawyer who had also lodged the complaint about the activities of the espionage unit.

He says the move is not to be interpreted as a present to his political rival Gaston Flosse, to whom the unit reported, adding that a good sportsman helps his opponent after a defeat.

Last year, Mr Flosse was convicted and fined for obstructing a probe into the disappearance of all documents of the unit, which was run from 1997 until 2004 and paid for with public money.

A separate complaint lodged last month by a lawyer and a publisher alleges that by running the unit, Mr Flosse misused ten million US dollars of public funds.

Although its work was illegal, it was condoned by France as it seconded agents from Paris to work for Mr Flosse's team.