26 Apr 2011

French Polynesia phantom job trial to enter second week

8:10 am on 26 April 2011

The case of the alleged phantom employees of French Polynesia's presidency in the 1990s is to enter its second week.

Last week, the criminal court in Papeete was told of agents of the presidency's former Polynesian affairs office lobbying for the Tahoeraa Huiraatira of Gaston Flosse when visiting office clients outside work.

The trial in the territory's biggest and has 86 defendants alleged to have been part of an illicit network funded by public money.

Mr Flosse has dismissed claims that the office was a propaganda tool but instead says it was open to everybody needing assistance and showed no favouritism towards Tahoeraa followers.

The trial is expected to last more than a month.