5 Oct 2011

French Polynesia politicians appeal convictions in phantom jobs case

7:00 pm on 5 October 2011

The French Polynesian politicians convicted for abuse of public funds will appeal against their prison sentences.

Gaston Flosse, who is also one the territory's two senators in Paris, has been given a four-year jail sentence and been fined 110,000 US dollars.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"56 people have been found guilty of being part of a network of phantom jobs to back the Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party in the 1990s and last decade. They've been ordered to collectively reimburse 5.7 million US dollars to the public purse. As a guest on local television Flosse seized the opportunity to declare his innocence. 'I have never abused public funds.' He went on to say that he will demand that the appeal be heard outside Tahiti. His lawyer, Yves Piriou, says one doesn't have to be a Nobel prize winner in nuclear physics to understand that this was a political process. A verdict on appeal is expected within four months."