French Polynesia's opposition politician Oscar Temaru has revealed that he was to be framed for a drugs crime in a bid to stop him from taking his anti-nuclear campaign to the United Nations in New York.
At a news conference in Tahiti, Mr Temaru said in 1978 when he was working as a customs official, he was asked to pick up a present but his then superior warned him off, saying it was a plot because the parcel contained drugs.
Mr Temaru says he followed the advice and flew off to New York with New Caledonian pro-independence activists the following day as planned.
According to La Depeche de Tahiti, he gave the account in the presence of the late colleague's daughter.
The woman, Helene van Bastolaer, says her father told her about the incident 15 years later because he didn't want the episode to be forgotten.
Mr Temaru says the plot was probably hatched by what he calls the mafia of the local officials, and without Paris being kept in the loop.