25 Nov 2011

Barral quits Tahiti administration with scathing criticism

4:13 pm on 25 November 2011

A senior official at French Polynesia's assembly has quit with a scathing attack on the local politicians as well as the French authorities.

In his resignation statement, Jean-Paul Barral, who held key posts in the administration, described the running of the territory over the years as the biggest undertaking in corruption ever seen on French soil, involving all levels and sectors of society.

Mr Barral says benefits were made available without ever taking into account the reality of the small society like French Polynesia's, and this, he says, has made it deeply dependent.

He says in 2004 when Oscar Temaru came to power nothing changed as new clans seized the government vehicles and continued the plundering of public funds, with one assembly member changing sides 17 times in six years.

Mr Barral says until 2007 the French judiciary was blind, deaf and mute but has now given jail terms to 43 people involved in a network of phantom jobs.