8 Sep 2014

Dumped Pacific leader blames Hollande

6:21 pm on 8 September 2014

French Polynesia's former president Gaston Flosse has accused the French President Francois Hollande of weakness for not pardoning him after his conviction for massive corruption.

Speaking on local television two days after losing office, Flosse says Mr Hollande may have given in to pressure from Tahiti's Oscar Temaru and the Socialists in France.

Flosse was convicted in the criminal court, the appeal court and in France's highest court for running a vast network of phantom jobs.

While maintaining his innocence, Flosse likened the judicial process to Russian roulette.

Flosse also regretted the lack of recognition by France for having stood up for the nuclear weapons tests which he says allowed France to become one of the great powers.

Gaston Flosse

Gaston Flosse Photo: RNZ

He says he defended French policies across the Pacific and supported France over its dealings with New Caledonia.

Flosse says he is sure Jacques Chirac, who had made Flosse a French minister in the 1980s, would have remembered what role French Polynesia played.