8 Oct 2012

French Polynesia to deliver OPT verdict in January

6:43 am on 8 October 2012

French Polynesia's criminal court will deliver its verdict in mid-January in an alleged corruption case at French Polynesia's OPT telecommunications company.

The court proceedings wrapped up last week and centred on claims that a French advertising executive Hubert Haddad made huge and regular cash payments to a former president, Gaston Flosse, to get public sector contracts.

The prosecution wants both jailed for five years.

The defence has denounced the case as a political trial aimed at ending the Flosse system in Tahiti.

Next week, the appeal court is to deal with a case brought by Flosse who a year ago was sentenced to four years in jail for running a network of phantom employees to the benefit of his political party.

The trial 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.