PARIS COURT DISMISSES FLOSSE COMPLAINT

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Former Tahiti president claimed defamation

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 31, 2010) – A criminal court in Paris has dismissed a complaint by French Polynesia’s veteran politician, Gaston Flosse, that he had been defamed in a French television documentary two years ago.

Those accused by Mr Flosse were the head of the television channel France 3, Patrick de Carolis, the programme’s presenter, Elise Lucet, and a reporter, Magali Serre.

The report was about the 1997 disappearance of a Tahitian journalist, Jean-Pascal Couraud, with Mr Flosse claiming the programme violated the basic principles of democracy.

An investigation into Mr Couraud’s disappearance was launched five years ago after a former spy of Mr Flosse’s now disbanded GIP militia claimed Mr Couraud had been kidnapped and was drowned off Tahiti.

Newspapers in Tahiti say Mr Flosse is likely to appeal the court ruling.

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