1 May 2012

Flosse wants trial moved from French Polynesia

1:03 pm on 1 May 2012

A former French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse, has lodged a further appeal to have a pending trial moved away from Papeete amid concern he would not be treated fairly in Tahiti.

According to local press reports, the bid for the relocation of the trial, due in September, has been submitted to the highest court in France.

Gaston Flosse is alleged to have received nearly two million US dollars in kickbacks from a French advertising executive, Hubert Haddad, for granting him public sector contracts.

The allegations are that 12,000 US dollars was paid to his party every month from 1993 until about 2005 by giving an envelope with money to Melba Ortas, who was the veteran leader's personal secretary.

In 2009, the French Senate lifted Gaston Flosse's parliamentary immunity and he was subsequently briefly jailed in Tahiti as part of the investigation.