POLICE RAID FLOSSE MANSION IN PARIS

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Former French Polynesia president target of probe

PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, July 9, 2009) – The investigation related to an alleged massive fraud at the French Polynesian telecommunications company OPT goes on. Police officers raided Thursday Senator Gaston Flosse's mansion in Paris, according to the Tahititoday blog.

Police officers started to raid the mansion a few moments after Flosse arrived in Paris, Tahititoday reports.

Flosse took a flight for Paris Tuesday night and is expected to be back in Tahiti before July 16.

Police officers already raided last week the office of Gaston Flosse's Tahoeraa huiraatira party in Papeete.

The Papeete prosecutor's office has officially asked for Senator Flosse's "parliamentary immunity" to be lifted for the OPT investigation.

A special commission of Senators, representing all French political parties, will vote on this issue. Their decision should be known by the end of July.

Flosse, 78, a former French Polynesia President, was reelected Senator last September.

"If it is me that they want, I am ready to go to jail in Tahiti under the condition that they free all the persons who are already in it", Flosse reportedly told Tahititoday.

He claims Paris does not want him anymore to have a key role in Tahitian politics.

The OPT investigation focuses on links between a Paris-based businessman, Hubert Haddad, and the French Polynesian telecommunications company.

Haddad is currently in jail, along with several other persons, in Tahiti.

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