12 Jan 2011

Chirac/Japan bank link dismissed in Tahiti disappearance probe

3:41 pm on 12 January 2011

French media reports say that Japanese authorities have found no record of any bank account alleged to have been held by a former French President, Jacques Chirac.

The Le Monde newspaper says this has emerged from a query by a Tahiti-based judge investigating the 1997 disappearance of a French Polynesian journalist, Jean-Pascal Couraud.

The investigators were testing a suspicion that the journalist was killed for having discovered links of such an account to a former French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse.

The probe was opened in 2004 after a former spy alleged that Mr Couraud was drowned off Tahiti.

Mr Chirac says he has never had a bank account in Japan, whose presumed existence was based on testimony of a former French top intelligence officer.