Tahiti's Fritch seeks compo for defamation

11:26 am on 6 September 2018

French Polynesia's president Edouard Fritch wants to be paid $US20,000 by a rival politician for being defamed during the election campaign in April.

The demand was put to the assembly leader of the opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira party Geffry Salmon in the criminal court in Papeete.

Edouard Fritch

Edouard Fritch Photo: Supplied/ Présidence de la Polynésie française

Mr Fritch took legal action in June, saying Mr Salmon defamed him with claims that Mr Fritch's party had been giving out subsidies to buy votes.

At a news conference between the two rounds of the territorial election, Mr Salmon said the ruling Tapura Huiraatira had disbursed large sums to secure votes.

Mr Fritch's lawyer said the Tahoeraa never lodged any complaint about any alleged abuse of funds but instead Mr Salmon tried to damage his rivals.

Mr Salmon's lawyer said his client never accused Mr Fritch of abusing public funds in the election campaign.

A ruling is due on September 18th.

Next month, Mr Fritch is due with his predecessor as president, Gaston Flosse, with both accused of abusing public funds

In the last term, Mr Fritch was given two convictions for corruption.

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