Temaru case fails to get traction with French Council

6:21 am on 10 August 2020

France's High Council for the Judiciary has thrown out a bid by a Paris-based lawyer acting for French Polynesia's pro-independence leader Oscar Temaru to look into his case.

French Polynesia leader Oscar Temaru.

French Polynesia leader Oscar Temaru. Photo: RNZI

In June, lawyer David Koubbi raised the actions of the prosecutor in Papeete against Temaru whose savings had been seized by the public prosecutor in Tahiti.

According to Radio 1, the Council rejected Koubbi's approach over the ethics in the case.

The prosecutor Herve Leroy had ordered the seizure of $US100,000 from Temaru's savings account before obtaining an authorisation by a judge as part of a new investigation into alleged abuse of public funds.

Leroy intervened over Temaru's court conviction for exerting undue influence last year but Temaru said the case was still on appeal and therefore his presumption of innocence was violated.

This year's new probe asserts Temaru misspent public funds because the Faaa municipal council had decided to fund his defence, including the cost to hire Koubbi.

The lawyers face the risk of court action against them for accepting funds which the prosecutor claimed the council unduly allotted to Temaru's benefit.

Temaru took Leroy to court in Papeete but it ruled that it could not try him and sent the case to New Caledonia.