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Former leader accused of favoritism in awarding contracts

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 2, 2012) – A ruling is expected in May in an alleged corruption case involving a former New Caledonian president, Philippe Gomes.

The prosecution has told the criminal court in Noumea that it wants the politician to be given a six-month suspended jail sentence and a 33,000 U.S. dollar fine for the way he arranged a 1.3 million U.S. dollar contract for his own company.

The case dates back to 2005 and 2006 when Mr. Gomes was the president of the southern province and the head of an air-conditioning company which won the contract to supply the Goro Nickel company.

Mr. Gomes was also on the Goro Nickel board.

The mining project was approved by the provincial administration which he led and which is a minority stakeholder.

His defense lawyers failed to quash the charges which Mr. Gomes has linked to a campaign by his political rivals.


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