21 Sep 2019

Head of Caledonia Together party charged with abuse of public funds

7:20 am on 21 September 2019

The head of the Caledonia Together party Philippe Gomes has been charged with abuse of public funds.

Philippe Gomes

Philippe Gomes Photo: AFP

The indictment comes just months after the president of the southern province Philippe Michel was also charged.

Mr Gomes is also one of New Caledonia's members of the French National Assembly.

The men are suspected of using public service staff for the party's campaigning in the 2017 French legislative elections, in which he was re-elected.

The charges come as part of investigations into alleged phantom jobs.

In March, several people were detained for questioning after the offices of the Caledonia Together party were searched late last year.

When the story broke earlier this year, Caledonia Together blamed a rival anti-independence party for trying to undermine it in the lead up to the provincial elections.