French Polynesian corruption trial deferred

12:09 pm on 6 February 2020

The trial of a prominent businessman and a union leader accused of corruption in French Polynesia has been deferred until March next year.

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept, court

Photo: ikiryo/123RF

The New Caledonian-based businessman Bill Ravel is accused of paying union leader Cyril Legayic to contain strikes at his companies in Papeete.

Mr Ravel, who set up Aircalin, is alleged to have paid him $US160,000 over four years.

The trial was set for this week but has reportedly been deferred because the summons for Mr Ravel's former accountant to appear was delivered too late.

When the affair was discovered in 2012 several business people, officials and unionists were taken in for questioning.

Mr Ravel was held in prison for two months and Mr Legayic for three months.

At the conclusion of the probe two years ago, the prosecution decided to split the case in two, with one involving only Mr Ravel and Mr Legayic.

The others alleged to be linked to Mr Ravel in corrupt deals are still being investigated.

Mr Ravel's other business interests include a new domestic airline in French Polynesia, Islands Airline, which was due to launch later this year.

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