French Polynesia judges defer OPT decision

1:26 pm on 25 April 2019

Judicial authorities in French Polynesia have again deferred a decision on whether to revive the OPT affair which centres on the territory's biggest case of corruption.

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Photo: 123RF

In 2014, the case was thrown out over a procedural error, quashing the five-year jail sentences given to a veteran politician Gaston Flosse and a French advertising executive Hubert Haddad.

The prosecution has been seeking a retrial but at a court meeting in Papeete last November found that the documentation to proceed to a possible reopening of the case was incomplete.

The court has this time deferred the matter until an unspecified date later this year because of a further challenge put to France's highest court which is yet to rule.

In 2014, the court in Papeete had convicted Flosse for taking more than $US2 million in kickbacks for granting public sector contracts to Mr Haddad over a 12-year period until the middle of the last decade.

Flosse had admitted disbursing the money for private expenses.

Defence lawyers have been trying to stop a retrial, saying the statute of limitations applied.