22 Jul 2013

French Polynesian politician freed after corruption probe

5:01 am on 22 July 2013

A leading businessman in French Polynesia, Franck Falletta, has been released after being detained for a day amid an investigation into alleged abuse of corporate assets.

Mr Falletta, who is also the leader of the small Te Ara Tia Party, was let go without any charges being laid.

Last year, Mr Falletta, who owns a supermarket chain and a travel agency, offered to take over the Sofitel Maeva Beach hotel in order to turn it into a casino.

The offer triggered a broad debate over the possible role of casinos in reviving the tourism sector, with both the then President Oscar Temaru and the main churches opposing legalised gambling.