Senior Tahiti politician appeals against defamation conviction

5:33 pm on 9 March 2019
Geffry Salmon.

Geffry Salmon. Photo: Tahoeraa Huiraatira

A senior French Polynesian politician is appealing against his conviction for defaming the president, Edouard Fritch.

Mr Fritch took legal action against Geffry Salmon in June, saying Mr Salmon defamed him at a news conference during the election campaign last April.

Mr Salmon, who is the assembly leader of the opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira party, claimed Mr Fritch's party had given out subsidies to buy votes.

The criminal court fined him US$5,000 in September.

In the appeal court on Friday, Mr Salmon's defence questioned the legality of the process in serving the original summons.

It is expected to give its verdict on 2 May.

Last month, the Tahoeraa leader Gaston Flosse was fined $US20,000 for making the same defamatory statements about Mr Fritch.

In the May election, Mr Fritch's Tapura Huiraatira party won two thirds of all seats.