16 Feb 2011

French Polynesia spy case decision due in March

4:04 pm on 16 February 2011

The judicial authorities in French Polynesia will say in early March whether they will accept a bid by a former president, Gaston Flosse, to have his indictment dropped for his role in his now defunct intelligence unit.

The lawyer acting for Mr Flosse says the additional complaint brought by a lawyer, Annie Rousseau, and a magazine publisher, Alex du Prel, should be thrown out.

They claim that there has been an abuse of public funds to staff the intelligence unit whose activities were illegal.

There is no record of any of the activities of the unit which was paid for with public funds for seven years until 2004.

If the case goes to court and Mr Flosse is found guilty, he could be jailed for up to a year.

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