Tahiti Telecom Company’s Ties To Politician Denied At Trial

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Ties Between Tahiti Telecom Company, Politician Denied Gaston Flosse allegedly received kickbacks for contracts

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 1, 2012) – French Polynesia’s Tahoeraa Huiraatira says its leader, Gaston Flosse, had at no time any influence on the actions of the publicly owned OPT telecommunications company.

The party issued the statement a week into the Tahiti trial of 15 people alleged to have been involved in corruption at the OPT when he was the territory’s president.

Flosse and his party are alleged to have received nearly two million U.S. dollars in kickbacks from a French advertising executive, Hubert Haddad, for granting him public sector contracts.

However, Flosse says he applied no pressure on the OPT leadership.

Mr. Haddad has admitted to giving money to a former OPT executive, Jeffry Salmon, saying he helped him because he was depressed and his daughter needed a new car.

He rejected claims of corruption, saying that it goes against his religion.

The trial, which will resume tomorrow, is being held in Tahiti after Flosse’s lawyer failed to have it moved elsewhere.

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