16 Jan 2013

Tahiti court gives Flosse jail sentence for corruption

4:41 pm on 16 January 2013

French Polynesia's criminal court has sentenced a leading politician, Gaston Flosse, to five years in prison for corruption.

Flosse, who is the territory's former president and a member of the French Senate, has also been fined 110,000 US dollars for the corrupt deals involving French Polynesia's OPT telecommunications company.

The case centred on a French advertising executive Hubert Haddad who paid about two million US dollars in kickbacks over 12 years to Flosse and his political party to get public sector contracts.

Haddad has also been given a five-year jail sentence.

A total of five people were convicted and ordered to jointly repay the OPT 5.5 million US dollars.

Three people, including Flosse's partner, Pascale Haiti, have been acquitted.

Flosse says he will appeal the sentence, which he described as a political move.

He says he thought that Nicolas Sarkozy was gone but obviously he is still there.