FRENCH FOIL PROBE OF MISSING TAHITI JOURNALIST

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Case of Jean-Pascal Couraud in its tenth year

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 9, 2009) – The journalists organisation, Reporters Without Borders, says it regrets that the French defence ministry refuses to release classified documents requested by a judge in French Polynesia investigating the 1997 disappearance of a Tahiti journalist, Jean-Pascal Couraud.

RSF says once again, the defence secret is being used to thwart efforts to establish the truth and in this case, the clearing up of an assassination.

It says it fears that the French authorities have decided to bury the affair.

The investigation into the alleged murder of Mr. Couraud by members of the now disbanded GIP militia is in its fifth year.

Couraud is reported to have had information about financial transfers from French Polynesia to a Japanese account held by the then President Jacques Chirac - an issue linked to France’s so-called Clearstream affair.

The existence of such an account became public after records were found in the possession of a former top French intelligence officer, General Philippe Rondot, whose testimony has been central to the Clearstream affair.

Mr. Chirac has denied that such an account existed.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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