19 Apr 2013

Tahiti expects French move on Pouvanaa retrial bid

1:46 pm on 19 April 2013

The president of French Polynesia's assembly says the French justice ministry is about to deal with its formal request to review the conviction of the late politician Pouvanaa a Oopa.

After a controversial trial in 1959 for allegedly fomenting unrest, Pouvanaa a Oopa was jailed for eight years and exiled for 15, before being pardoned and allowed to return to Tahiti in 1968.

Two months ago, an extraordinary sitting of the territorial assembly in Tahiti unanimously passed a resolution asking Paris to review the case - 25 years after his family first called for a retrial.

Last year, the then French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, gave a special televised pre-election address to Tahiti, saying the files about Pouvanaa would be opened to allow for a possible re-trial.

Today a statue in his honour is in front of the territorial assembly and a key street in Papeete has been named after him.