10 Jul 2014

French Polynesia's GIP still face JPK charges

7:54 pm on 10 July 2014

The head of the disbanded GIP militia of French Polynesia's President Gaston Flosse still faces a murder charge over the disappearance of journalist Jean-Pascal Couraud in 1997.

A Tahiti appeals court yesterday dropped related murder charges against two GIP employees, Tino Mara and Tutu Manate, although kidnapping charges stand.

The court has discounted evidence of phone tapped conversations by the suspects which implicated them in the journalist's killing.

The president of French Polynesia, Gaston Flosse (right)

The president of French Polynesia, Gaston Flosse (right) Photo: RNZI / Walter Zweifel

However, Alex Du Prel of the Tahiti Pacifique magazine says that the jailed former militia head, Rere Puputauki, and the GIP collectively could face trial over the death.

"So if there is a trial for, let's say, wrongdoings by the GIP, then Mr Flosse will be held responsible. And this is why an army of lawyers even coming from France and everything have been fighting these charges all the time."

Alex Du Prel