Fritch defamation trial in French Polynesia delayed

1:53 pm on 27 August 2018

The defamation trial initiated by French Polynesia's president Edouard Fritch has been deferred to September 4th.

Edouard Fritch

Edouard Fritch Photo: Supplied/ Présidence de la Polynésie française

Mr Fritch decided to take legal action against the assembly leader of the opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira party Geffry Salmon in June over comments made during the election campaign.

He said he was defamed by claims that his party had been buying votes.

Mr Salmon said during a news conference between the two rounds of the territorial election that the ruling Tapura Huiraatira of Mr Fritch disbursed large sums to secure votes.

He said this was worse than what had been done in earlier times by the Tahoeraa leader Gaston Flosse.

Mr Salmon said Mr Fritch had surpassed his master - a reference to Gaston Flosse who had been president while Mr Fritch was his deputy.

During this year's election campaign, the Tahoeraa made several other accusations of irregularities by Tapura candidates but didn't pursue them.

The Tapura won 38 of the assembly's 57 seats.