18 Nov 2015

Tahiti's OPT case review deferred

12:09 pm on 18 November 2015
Gaston Flosse and Hubert Haddad

Gaston Flosse and Hubert Haddad Photo: AFP

French Polynesia's court of appeal has deferred a decision on whether to abandon the OPT corruption case until next year.

In April, the affair was thrown out over a procedural error, quashing the five-year jail sentences given in 2013 to a former president, Gaston Flosse, and a French advertising executive, Hubert Haddad.

The court was today due to hear a bid by Flosse's lawyer to dismiss the case on the basis that more than three years have elapsed since the start of the initial probe.

Flosse was today the only one in court of those originally charged and convicted, and the court has put off a decision until January 26th, saying all 19 people involved in the case have to be present.

The prosecution wants to revive the case, objecting to the claim that too much time has elapsed.

It is being suggested that if the prosecution accepts the argument of the unacceptable delay, the matter will be buried for good.

Two years ago, the criminal court convicted Flosse for taking more than two million US dollars in kickbacks for granting public sector contracts to Mr Haddad over a 12-year period until the middle of the last decade.

Flosse had admitted disbursing the money for private expenses.