8 Jan 2015

New Caledonia's Martin surprised at charges

1:51 pm on 8 January 2015

A former New Caledonian president, Harold Martin, has told a local newspaper that the charges brought against him follow inadmissible police methods.

Harold Martin

Harold Martin Photo: AFP

Mr Martin made the allegation in an interview with the daily les Nouvelles Caledoniennes after being told that he is to face the criminal court for alleged favouritism in granting telecommunications contracts.

The charges relate to irregularities in the awarding of contracts worth millions of dollars when Mr Martin was the board chairman of the publicly owned OPT telecommunications company.

Mr Martin dismisses suggestions of any wrongdoing, saying if there has been any favouritism he would like to know where.

He also alleges that many magistrates have turned against France's former president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and therefore some may have been annoyed that he is one of Mr Sarkozy's friends.

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