13 May 2011

Tahiti Phantom job trial ends with verdict due in October

6:26 pm on 13 May 2011

French Polynesia's biggest ever trial has ended with the defence claiming that it was a political trial aimed at ending the career of the veteran politician Gaston Flosse.

The prosecution has sought a three-year jail term for him for allegedly running a vast network of supporters with so-called phantom jobs to advance the policies of then ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party.

A verdict is expected on October the 4th.

Over the past four weeks, a total of 87 people have been in court, including top politicians, former and current mayors, unionists, journalists and sports administrators.

The lawyer acting for the state has demanded that they collectively reimburse 30 million US dollars of misspent funds .

The defence says the case is aimed at ruining the lives of nearly 100 people who had contracts with the presidency approved by successive French high commissioners.