15 Mar 2012

French Polynesia's Tuheiava charged with forgery

4:54 am on 15 March 2012

French Polynesia's pro-independence member of the French Senate has been charged with forgery.

The charges, which he denies, have been laid in Tahiti and relate to his work as a lawyer between 2006 and 2009.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Richard Tuheiava says since his election to the Senate, he has become the man to be brought down, alleging that this legal action is a political move guided by Paris. He claims that the case is rigged and aimed at discrediting him because he has become too embarrassing for the French state. Mr Tuheiava cites his initiative for the return of the former Moruroa and Fangataufa nuclear weapons test sites and his new bill to win seabed rights for French Polynesia to secure rare earth mineral deposits. He has likened his situation to that of Pouvanaa a Oopa who was exiled in the 1950s for standing in the way of the colonial power."