31 Dec 2018

Temaru's party will cover his legal costs

9:30 am on 31 December 2018

The party of French Polynesia's pro-independence leader Oscar Temaru will cover his legal costs in his is trial for allegedly misusing public funds.

The town of Faaa, where Mr Temaru is mayor, considered paying for the defence in the criminal court which is scheduled to try him on June 18.

However, Mr Temaru reportedly withdrew the item from the council agenda and his Tavini Huiraatira party will pay.

Mr Temaru and two other defendants, Heinui Lecaill and Vito Maamaatuaiahutapu, are alleged to have misspent money of the association running a local radio station Radio Tefana.

The accusations stem from a public accounts audit of 2009 questioning allocations given to Radio Tefana, which is a station asserting sovereignty rights and denouncing nuclear weapons tests.

Last month, the three were detained for 12 hours as part of the investigation, which prompted an outcry from the pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira Party.

It accused France of scheming to politically assassinate Mr Temaru for referring French presidents to the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity over France's nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific.

However, both the French High Commissioner and the public prosecutor firmly rejected the Tavini claim that there was a plot to sideline Mr Temaru.