6 Jun 2013

Barrillot dismissal outrages Tahiti veterans

1:51 pm on 6 June 2013

The French Polynesian nuclear test veterans organisation is indignant that the new government has dismissed the head of the territory's body concerned with the aftermath of the French nuclear weapons tests.

Moruroa e tatou says it is outraged that Bruno Barrillot, seen as the most knowledgeable person about the French tests, is being removed.

It says Mr Barrillot is pursued by a vengeful hatred that does no justice to the government.

The opposition says it is also concerned about his organisation's future, wondering if the sacking spells the end of efforts to help test victims who, it says, are dying one after another.

Meanwhile, the president, Gaston Flosse, has rehired his secretary, Melba Ortas, who along with him was this year given a jail sentence for corruption in the so-called OPT case.

They are both appealing against the conviction in France's highest court .

She was found to be collecting envelopes with cash as kickbacks from an advertising executive, which were in part used to pay alimonies for the president's children.