21 Oct 2017

Former New Caledonian president cops sentence in land case

10:22 am on 21 October 2017

A former New Caledonian president, Harold Martin, has been given a suspended two-month prison sentence over a conflict of interest in a land sale.

Harold Martin

Harold Martin Photo: AFP

The criminal court in Noumea also fined him $US50,000 and declared him ineligible to hold public office for two years.

Four years ago, judges had put Martin under formal investigation over the 2008 rezoning of land, which he and his siblings had sold in Paita a year earlier.

The rezoning to clear the land for a commercial development was approved by Martin in his capacity as mayor of Paita.

Martin rejected claims of any wrongdoing.

His lawyer said he would lodge an appeal.

Earlier he said it was his right to sell the land, which had been in the family since 1860.