21 Aug 2014

Tahiti's Flosse charged with misuse of power

7:31 pm on 21 August 2014

French Polynesia's president, Gaston Flosse, has been charged with misuse of power in the way he awarded a US$55 million contract a decade ago to build Tahiti's new hospital.

This comes after another day of interrogations in a long-running probe.

Flosse is alleged to have given the contract to build the Taaone hospital without calling tenders to a company whose owner then sold a stake in a hotel to Flosse's son at a low price.

The two were charged over the arrangement in February.

Before meeting the investigators, Flosse's lawyer already asked for corruption charges to be dropped, should they be laid.

Last month, Flosse was stripped of his political offices in a French supreme court ruling for corruption, but he remains in office because the French government has refused to serve him the verdict to make it official.

Flosse has asked Francois Hollande for a presidential pardon so that he can stay in power.