Two Charged In French Polynesia Journalist’s 1997 Murder

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Jean-Pascal Couraud disappearance once thought to be suicide

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, July 1, 2013) – Two men in French Polynesia have been charged with the murder of former journalist Jean-Pascal Couraud who went missing in 1997.

Jean-Pascal Couraud, also known as JPK, was one of President Gaston Flosse's main opponents at the time but disappeared in December 1997 in what was deemed a suicide.

Thibault Marais is a communications staff member for French Polynesia's government and has told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat there is limited information available on the case.

"The lawyer is probably going to try to see if he can have some other statements that could give us more information about the case," he said.

In 2004 Oscar Temaru replaced Gaston Flosse as the French Polynesian president and a former member of Gaston Flosse's GIP security force claimed some former GIP members killed JPK.

However, Mr Marais says Couraud's family spoke about suicide being a possible explanation for the death during an investigation in 1997.

"We were asking them what we found, they always talked about the suicide note that they found in Mr Couraud's home," he said.

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