French Polynesia's Temaru to appeal undue influence sentence

9:16 pm on 11 September 2019

There will be an appeal in French Polynesia after three men, including the pro-independence leader Oscar Temaru, were given suspended prison sentences and fines.

French Polynesia leader Oscar Temaru.

French Polynesia leader Oscar Temaru. Photo: RNZI

They were convicted for exercising undue influence by funding Radio Tefana to benefit Mr Temaru's political party.

The defence wants the case to be thrown out, saying the prosecution failed to cite a single incident of propaganda.

Mr Temaru said the real reason for his conviction was that in the eyes of France he committed treason by taking French presidents to the International Criminal Court over nuclear weapons tests.

The former board chair of Radio Tefana, Vito Maamaatuaiahutapu, said it would have been easier to blow up the station with dynamite instead of having a trial.

The new board chair, Heinui Le Caill, said the station's $US1 million fine was five times its budget, meaning the station was unable to pay and would have to close.