22 Jul 2014

Tahiti president held for questioning

10:37 am on 22 July 2014
Gaston Flosse

Gaston Flosse Photo: RNZ

French Polynesia's president, Gaston Flosse, has been detained for questioning in a probe of how the construction of Tahiti's new hospital in 2004 was financed.

The probe has already led to charges being laid against his son, Reginald Flosse, and a company owner, Robert Bernut.

The arrest this morning was made possible after the French Senate lifted his immunity in the case in April.

In a statement, the president says he is surprised to be taken to a police station, describing the move as a deliberate humiliation.

It also says this detention comes only days after a case against him by the same investigative judge was thrown out.

He says the detention has been motivated by a spirit of revenge.

The president's statement also notes that there is no doubt that this was all timed as to add pressure on him as France's highest court is about to rule in a case which could end his political career.