French Polynesia grapples with bail payback request

1:55 pm on 2 May 2019

Judicial authorities in French Polynesia are grappling with a request by a French businessman to be reimbursed $US800,000 he paid in bail 10 years ago.

Gaston Flosse and Hubert Haddad

Gaston Flosse and Hubert Haddad Photo: AFP

Hubert Haddad had been jailed for several months during investigations into Tahiti's biggest corruption case in which he was accused of paying the then president, Gaston Flosse, more than $US2 million in kickbacks for government contracts.

Both were given jail sentences in 2013 but on appeal a year later the matter was thrown out on a technicality, with a decision now expected in July on whether to re-open the case.

Mr Haddad's lawyer has now secured the consent of an investigative judge to be repaid just over half a million dollars of the bail sum.

However Tahiti-infos reported that the prosecution was opposed to any reimbursement, with a decision expected next week.

The overturned 2013 judgment in the so-called OPT case also provided for the repayment of more than $US5 million to the OPT.

Flosse confirmed during the trial that the money had been spent for private expenses.

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