An investigation into possible witness tampering has been launched in French Polynesia after a financial arrangement between a sex offender and his victims became known.
Tahiti-infos reports that investigators are trying to determine whether the signing of such a deal amounts to a crime.
The report follows revelations by La Depeche de Tahiti that the lawyer of one of the defendants and the lawyer of three alleged victims agreed for them to be paid $US10,000 each to fend off further publicity.
The lawyer of the victims said he initiated the deal so that the three would be compensated quickly.
The report said the deal wasn't an admission of guilt but would safeguard the three against any demand for damages in case of the defendant being acquitted in the appeal court in two weeks.
The defendant, Thierry Barbion, has been free since September pending the appeal trial after being given a four-year prison sentence for paying money to his former former partner, Sabine Boiron, to get access to minors for sex.
A total of 10 people were given jail sentences of up to seven years over Boiron's racket with child prostitution and drug dealing.