New Caledonia's criminal court has opened the trial of a former president, Harold Martin, over alleged irregularities in the awarding of contracts.
The case relates to contracts worth millions of dollars which were allocated when Mr Martin was the board chairman of the publicly owned OPT telecommunications company.
He was charged four years ago with alleged favouritism.
Earlier this year, he told a local newspaper that the charges follow inadmissible police methods.
Mr Martin dismissed 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.