21 Jul 2018

New Caledonia provinical president appears in court

4:37 pm on 21 July 2018
New Caledonian pro-independence leader, Paul Neaoutyine

Paul Neaoutyine appeared in court in Noumea on Friday. Photo: AFP/Lionel Bonaventure

The president of New Caledonia's northern province has appeared in court accused of misspending public funds.

Paul Neaoutyine, who is the leader of the pro-indepedence Palika party, appeared in a Noumea court on Friday, but the case was deferred to late November.

According to Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes, Mr Neaoutyine is alleged to have used his position to divert funds to various organisations.

The report says it is no question of him trying to enrich himself personally.

The case is scheduled to be back in court two weeks after the territory's vote on independence from France.

Mr Neaoutyine has been pushing for New Caledonia to become an independent country, but in a partnership with France.