24 Jul 2014

Conviction of French Polynesian president upheld

7:36 am on 24 July 2014

France's highest court has upheld a major corruption sentence given to the French Polynesian president Gaston Flosse last year.

Once the court ruling is enforced, the 83-year-old politician will have to quit the presidency and surrender his seat in the French Senate.

Gaston Flosse lost his appeal against last year's conviction in Tahiti where he was given a four year suspended jail sentence, a 170,000 US dollar fine, and was banned from public office for three years.

He had been found guilty of running a network of so-called phantom jobs within the presidency in the 1990s in what has been the biggest case of its kind in French legal history.

His successor as president is likely to be Edouard Fritch who is the president of the territorial assembly and Flosse's former son-in-law.

Flosse was due to arrive in Auckland today to meet Polynesian leaders before next week's Pacific Islands Forum summit in Palau.

Gaston Flosse

Gaston Flosse Photo: RNZ