French Polynesia's Temaru defends support of local radio station

12:21 pm on 21 June 2019

French Polynesia's pro-independence leader Oscar Temaru has defended supporting a local radio station, saying it provided the only voice against France's nuclear weapons testing and for decolonisation.

French Polynesia leader Oscar Temaru.

French Polynesia leader Oscar Temaru. Photo: RNZI

Mr Temaru was testifying in the criminal court in Papeete on the second day of a trial for the alleged abuse of public funds and an illegal conflict of interests.

As the veteran mayor of Faaa, he kept approving funds for an association which ran Radio Tefana and whose administrators, Heinui Lecaill and Vito Maamaatuaiahutapu, are also in court.

His defence lawyer argued that the French prosecutor laid charges without ever listening to Radio Tefana's alleged propaganda.

If convicted, Mr Temaru could lose his right to run in the local election next year.

Last year, he lost his seat in the assembly after his campaign accounts had been rejected by Paris.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs