10 Mar 2011

Flosse eyes Chirac-style defence in Tahiti trial

3:13 pm on 10 March 2011

The lawyer acting for French Polynesia's veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, says he will file papers soon to challenge the constitutionality of an impending court case involving so-called 84 fake employees.

The lawyer made the comment after a Paris court gave a reprieve to a former French president, Jacques Chirac, who has been charged with channelling public money into phantom jobs for political cronies while he was mayor of Paris between 1977 and 1995.

The case against Mr Flosse has been scheduled for next month and is the biggest of its kind in French legal history.

The Flosse administration is alleged to have misspent millions of dollars by keeping journalists, unionists and clergymen on its payroll, purporting that they had contracts and were working for the government.

His bid last year to have the French highest court throw out the case was unsuccessful.