22 Jan 2014

Jail sentence for Tahiti's self-styled Pakumotu king

6:05 pm on 22 January 2014

A court in French Polynesia has given a six-month jail sentence to the king of the self-styled Pakumotu republic, Athanase Teiri, for intimidating and threatening senior officials.

This follows his arrest last month when police seized millions of his group's illegal patu currency at his home.

Teiri had at the time announced the new money's launch for the end of the year at a fixed exchange rate and sent a threatening letter to the head of the institute, which issues the Pacific franc.

Teiri's daughter, Mahina Teiri, has been given a suspended six-month prison sentence for defrauding the company which supplied the machines used to print the notes.

Last month, a woman belonging to his group was given a two-month jail sentence for trying to pay for petrol with a 100 patu note.

In 2012, Teiri was given a suspended prison sentence for producing illegal identity cards.

Teiri has been defying the French state for several years, saying his group accepts neither French Polynesia's government nor its laws.