16 Dec 2014

Flosse faces more charges over Tahiti espionage

2:37 pm on 16 December 2014

Prosecutors in French Polynesia have added more charges to the disgraced former president Gaston Flosse's illegal espionage case which will go to court in March.

French Polynesia. Papeete waterfront

French Polynesia, Papeete waterfront Photo: RNZ

Flosse has again been questioned over the matter and is now alleged to have hired 19 people to the presidency who were then employed by his now defunct espionage unit.

His lawyer says the latest charges are scandalous and an attack on basic liberties.

The orginal complaint against Flosse was made nine years ago when he was accused of violating the privacy of rival politicians, journalists and other individuals.

A separate complaint lodged by a lawyer and a publisher alleges that by running the unit, Flosse misused ten million US dollars of public funds.

Although its work was illegal, it was condoned by France as it seconded agents from Paris to work for Flosse's team.

Three years ago, France's highest court upheld the conviction of Flosse for obstructing the examination of the case and he was fined 16,000 US dollars for destroying all evidence pertinent to the espionage service which was operational between 1997 and 2004.