Tahiti's Salmon fined for defaming president

11:53 am on 19 September 2018

A senior French Polynesian politician has been fined for defaming the president Edouard Fritch during the election campaign in April.

Edouard Fritch

Edouard Fritch Photo: Supplied/ Présidence de la Polynésie française

The criminal court in Tahiti found the assembly leader of the opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira party, Geffry Salmon, guilty and fined him $US5,000.

He has also been ordered to pay $US2,000 to Mr Fritch who wanted to be paid $US20,000 in compensation.

Mr Fritch took legal action in June, saying Mr Salmon defamed him at a news conference with claims that his party had been giving out subsidies to buy 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.

Next month, Mr Fritch is due in court 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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