Temaru summoned by Tahiti police over defence funding

6:54 pm on 24 May 2020

Police in French Polynesia have summoned the pro-independence leader Oscar Temaru for questioning on Tuesday over the payment of the legal costs in his trial last year.

Oscar Temaru, mayor of Faaa since 1983

Oscar Temaru, mayor of Faaa since 1983 Photo: supplied FB

Last September, Temaru was given a suspended six-month prison sentence for exerting undue influence over the funding arrangements for Radio Tefana and fined $US50,000.

The case is being appealed.

The new probe is to establish whether the municipal council of Faaa, where Temaru has been the mayor for 37 years, abused public funds by paying for his defence.

His lawyers have also been summoned while his Paris-based lawyer is due to be questioned by police in France.

Temaru told a news conference that France had engaged in judicial harassment and was abusing its power to politically assassinate him.

He said this exercise was designed to deprive him of his defence team.

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 historic nuclear weapons tests.

It was his first conviction in a criminal court.

In 2018, France's top administrative court ruled that his campaign accounts for the May election of that year were deficient and declared him ineligible to keep his assembly seat.

Radio Tefana

Radio Tefana Photo: supplied FB