10 Mar 2014

French Polynesia President attacks French after attempt to remove immunity

8:22 am on 10 March 2014

French Polynesia's president, Gaston Flosse, has sharply attacked the judiciary and the French state after it became known that another bid has been made to lift the immunity he has as a French senator.

The move against him is linked to a probe of a public sector construction deal in 2002 which allegedly involved material benefits for his son.

Mr Flosse says a prosecutor and judges have been appointed by a former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, with the sole task of bringing him down.

He says they want to remove him because he stands in the way of the pro-independence side, which Mr Flosse says is feared by the French state.

Mr Flosse says France has always behaved badly towards its supporters, citing the example of those people abandoned by Paris in Algeria.

The French Polynesian president has been repeatedly convicted and also sentenced to prison for corruption, but he remains free pending appeals.