Challenge to defamation conviction in French Polynesia

11:50 am on 6 August 2018

French Polynesia's court of appeal has heard the challenge of assembly member Valentina Cross, who last year was convicted of defaming a former vice president Nuihau Laurey.

French Polynesian opposition politician Valentina Cross holds a poster expressing her opposition to a proposed floating island project.

Valentina Cross Photo: @polynesiela1ere/Facebook

During a radio debate, Ms Cross had accused Mr Laurey of being compromised and having abused his position to favour a power company.

Valentina Cross had been fined $US1000 but according to local media reports her lawyer argued in the appeal court that the allegedly defamatory words were taken out of context.

He said instead Mr Laurey should be charged with initiating an abusive pursuit of Ms Cross.

However, Mr Lawrey's lawyer maintains that by alleging cheating and fraud, Ms Cross had attacked Mr Laurey's dignity.

The court is expected to give its verdict on October 25th.

Valentina Cross is, and has been, with the Tavini Huiraatira party. The Union For Democracy, which included Tavini, has been let go since the last election.

Mr Laurey, who is with the ruling Tapura Huiraatira Party, is now a member of the French Senate.