28 Oct 2011

43 Tahiti phantom jobs convicts appeal

10:10 am on 28 October 2011

Most of those convicted in French Polynesia for their role in a network of phantom jobs have decided to appeal.

At the beginning of the month, 56 people were sentenced and 43 of them have decided to lodge appeals against their prison sentences and fines.

Central to the affair was a former president Gaston Flosse who ran an illicitly funded system to advance the policies of his ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party.

According to a Tahiti newspaper, among those to appeal are former president of the assembly, Justin Arapari, who was given a two-year prison sentence.

The territory's two members of the French assembly, Michel Buillard and Bruno Sandras, have also decided to appeal as has a senior assembly member and former minister, Jean-Christophe Bouissou.

The original trial in May was the biggest of its kind in French legal history, implicating a total of 87 people, including top politicians, former and current mayors, unionists, journalists and sports administrators.