18 Feb 2011

Tahiti appeal court upholds Tuheiava's disbarment

3:28 pm on 18 February 2011

The court of appeal in Tahiti has upheld a ruling to disbar the French Polynesian senator and lawyer, Richard Tuheiava, for two years.

Mr Tuheiava, who in 2008 became the youngest member of the French Senate, was struck off in 2009 after he was found to have taken money from clients without doing any work.

However, Tahitipresse reports that Mr Tuheiava has decided to take the case to the highest court in France which means that the sentence is not applied.

Mr Tuheiava issued a statement to say that he left Papeete's lawyers' association because he no longer found it to be guided by values such as honesty, loyalty and independence.

His lawyer has also alleged that action was taken against Mr Tuheiava for political reasons as he is a member of the pro-independece Union For Democracy.