25 Jun 2014

Court rules in favour of Flosse

2:22 pm on 25 June 2014

The French Polynesian president Gaston Flosse has been given a reprieve after a ruling by a Papeete court.

The Court Of Appeal has quashed a referral order in the corruption case involving Mr Flosse and the French advertising executive Hubert Haddad.

Gaston Flosse

Gaston Flosse Photo: RNZ

In January, the criminal court gave the two a five-year prison sentence and a 110,000 US dollar fine for corruption.

The appeal court has now declared the earlier verdict null and void.

Hubert Haddad had been accused of paying about two million US dollars in kickbacks over 12 years to Mr Flosse and his party to get public sector contracts from the OPT telecommunications company.

But lawyers for the president and the other accused called for the referral order to be quashed saying the accusations against their clients were too imprecise.

Last year, the defendants failed in their bid to get France's highest court to move the appeal case away from Tahiti after claiming they wouldn't get a fair trial.