FRENCH POLYNESIA PRESIDENT FLOSSE TO APPEAR IN COURT

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MELBOURNE, Australia (October 14, 1999 – Radio Australia)---The President of French Polynesia, Gaston Flosse, is scheduled to appear in a Paris, France court later today on corruption charges.

Flosse has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Radio Australia correspondent Kevin McQuillan reports:

"Mr. Flosse faces two charges, dating back to 1990 and 1991, when he was mayor of Pirae and a member of the Territorial Assembly.

"It's alleged he accepted payments of US$ 500,000 in return for allowing a Chinese businessman, Jues Ly Lem, to set up an illegal casino in the town.

"The former secretary of Flosse's Tahoera'a Huira'atira Party, Nelson Levy, and his former Chief of Cabinet, Marcel Teinu, also have been charged.

"At previous hearings, Flosse has pleaded not guilty to the charges, claiming the payments were for his political party and are protected under an amnesty.

"If found guilty, he faces a maximum penalty of being barred from holding political office for five years.

"Kevin McQuillan, Radio Australia."

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