14 Nov 2018

Court acquits New Caledonia's Martin

10:08 am on 14 November 2018
Harold Martin

Harold Martin Photo: AFP

New Caledonia's Court of Appeal has quashed the sentence given to a former president Harold Martin over an alleged conflict of interest in a land sale.

Last year, he was given a suspended two-month prison sentence, fined $US50,000 and declared ineligible to hold public office for two years.

Five years ago, judges had put Mr Martin under formal investigation over the 2008 rezoning of land, which he and his siblings had sold in Paita a year earlier.

The rezoning to clear the land for a commercial development was approved by Mr Martin in his capacity as mayor of Paita.

Earlier, he said it was his right to sell the land, which had been in the family since 1860.

Paita, north of Noumea

Paita, north of Noumea Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel