FORMER FRENCH PLYNESIA PRESIDENT LEONTIEFF CONVICTED

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FORMER FRENCH POLYNESIA PRESIDENT LEONTIEFF CONVICTED

PAPEETE, French Polynesia (November 19, 1997 - Radio Australia)---A former president of French Polynesia, Alexandre Leontieff, 49, has been convicted of corruption charges and sentenced to three years in prison. He also has been deprived of some civil rights, including voting privileges, for five years.

The former president will only have to serve 18 months, however, since the judge suspended half of the sentence.

Leontieff was found guilty of taking a bribe of $AUS 172,000 in exchange for giving a newly-founded Polynesian private clinic a substantial tax break.

In its judgment, the court said the guilty parties had seriously troubled the public order and led people to believe that, in French Polynesia, anything could be bought.

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