Suspended sentence for Tahiti officer who 'mistakenly' shot and killed a man

10:10 am on 30 August 2018

A police officer in French Polynesia has been given a suspended 18-month prison sentence for involuntary homicide.

Last year, the officer killed Vetearii Rupea after he mistakenly fired his gun instead of his taser.

Papeete, capital of French Polynesia

Papeete, capital of French Polynesia Photo: RNZI

Mr Rupea was shot in the chest when the policeman fired his gun in a bid to break up a brawl in Paea.

The officer had both weapons attached to his belt on one side when according to the regulations there should have been one on either side.

The policeman's lawyer said while using a taser appeared to be the only way to stop the altercation between the two drunk men, his client pulled the wrong weapon.

The criminal court accepted the lawyer's request to exclude the sentence from the officer's record, which will allow him to keep his job.