French Polynesia lawyer seeks acquittal on huge fraud

3:44 pm on 17 December 2018

The lawyer acting for a former French Polynesian bailiff has asked for his client to be acquitted because he can repay the money he has defrauded.

Judge, law, lawyer and Justice concept with a 3d render of a gavel on a wooden desktop with grey background.

Photo: 123RF

The bailiff Patrick Rey, who worked on Moorea, was in the appeal court appealing against his three-year prison sentence for defrauding an elderly woman of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

He had been entrusted with managing her finances after her husband's death, but used some funds for his personal benefit.

In the appeal court, he said he could repay the woman the more than $US500,000 because he had made a land sale.

Radio 1 reported that the proceeds of the sale were however being blocked because in August Rey was convicted for being complicit in a metamphetamine deal.

His lawyer said he the court should acquit Rey because he could settle his debt but the prosecution wanted the sentence to be upheld for orchestrating the fraud.

A verdict is expected on 21 February.