Tahiti court halts expulsion of royal claimant

8:19 pm on 22 July 2020

A preliminary court ruling in French Polynesia has stopped the expulsion of a descendant of the Tahitian royal family from a land area in Puna'auia.

Joinville Pomare

Joinville Pomare Photo: Facebook

Amid a long running dispute, Joinville Pomare started building what he called a royal residence which a developer, SCI Delano, said was acquired legally.

The ownership question had gone to France's highest court after the appeal court in French Polynesia in 2016 found that neither side had a proper title.

However, this year the Paris court invalidated the appeal court decision and told it to rejudge the case.

As a final decision is pending, Joinville Pomare started his palace project while the company wanted to have him removed for alleged squatting.

Joinville Pomare has vowed to push land rights in view of France's refusal to respect the treaties it signed.

France no longer recognises a Tahitian royal family, although in 1880 Paris signed a treaty which guaranteed that the titles and customs of the Polynesians under its control would be maintained.

Last month, Pomare was given a one-year prison sentence for abusing public funds.

The owner of SCI Delano is in prison serving a four-year sentence for his role in a prostitution and drug trafficking racket.