24 Apr 2014

Delay in Tahiti journalist death probe

12:56 pm on 24 April 2014

There has been a delay in the investigation of the presumed 1997 killing of a French Polynesian journalist, Jean-Pascal Couraud, because of the leak of secretly recorded conversations among the three suspects.

The three, Rere Puputauki Tino Mara and Tutu Manate, who belonged to the now disbanded GIP militia of President Gaston Flosse, were first charged last year with kidnapping.

Three weeks ago, the French newspaper Le Monde reported that the home of the suspects had been bugged last year, when they allegedly spoke about the killing and the plan to lie during their impending questioning.

A defence lawyer says he wants the recordings to be declared inadmissible and the charges to be dropped.

A meeting is now due at the prosecutor's office in late May to hear how the investigation, now in its tenth year, will proceed.