French Polynesia's Flosse sentenced in espionage case

3:25 pm on 24 June 2015

French Polynesia's former president Gaston Flosse has been found guilty of abusing public funds but acquitted of violating privacy in a long-running espionage case against him.

The criminal court in Papeete rejected that his intelligence service, which ran between 1997 and 2004, invaded the privacy of rival politicians, journalists and others.

But Flosse was found guilty of abusing 10 million US dollars of public funds by running a spy agency out of the presidency office.

He has been sentenced to an 18-month suspended jail term, to pay US$19,000 and is ineligible to hold public office for two years.

A former journalist and politician Sabrina Birk, who says she was spied on, says she's not satisfied with the outcome of the case.

"He can file an appeal to this. And it will go higher. And he will not be condemned for it, he will not have to pay back the people for the money that he used to listen to our phonecalls. This is why I am still upset because I believe Gaston Flosse should be condemned."

Sabrina Birk.

Flosse was earlier banned from public office because of other convictions.

Gaston Flosse

Gaston Flosse Photo: AFP