1 Mar 2012

New Caledonia inmate fails in Paris bid to get out of jail

11:58 am on 1 March 2012

The highest court in France has rejected a bid by an inmate in New Caledonia to be freed because he is being held in a substandard prison.

The man was one of six sent on remand to Noumea's Camp Est for their role in last August's fatal clashes on Mare.

His lawyer claimed that under the European human rights convention it is unacceptable and degrading to give an inmate less than seven square meters of cell space.

In Noumea, the six were held in a 12 square meter cell.

The court in Paris found that the Noumea courts had ruled correctly.

The overcrowded Noumea prison, which dates back to the 19th century, has been labelled by all parties as a shame for the French republic.

It is being upgraded while another prison for 500 inmates is to be built within the next eight years.