Suspended jail term for French Polynesian assembly member

12:52 pm on 5 September 2018

A member of the French Polynesian assembly has been given a 10-month suspended prison sentence for abusing public funds and fraud.

Benoît Kautai.

Benoît Kautai. Photo: Tahoeraa Huiraatira

Benoît Kautai, who is also the mayor of Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands, was sentenced in the criminal court in Papeete.

He was also fined $US50,000 but is allowed to remain in office.

He was convicted for overcharging the territorial government for a roading project six years ago.

At the time, he was with the pro-independence Union For Democracy, but in May he was elected as an assembly member of the ruling Tapura Huiraatira Party.

He is the first assembly member in this term to be convicted for corruption.

Almost a third of the ruling party's elected members have corruption convictions, including its leader Edouard Fritch and the assembly president Gaston Tong Sang who was given a suspended prison sentence this year.

Edouard Fritch is due in court next month over alleged corruption also involving his predecessor as president Gaston Flosse.