Tahiti Court Throws Out Corruption Case Against Flosse

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Eight defendants off the hook because of ‘procedural errors’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 17, 2015) – The appeal court in French Polynesia has thrown out the OPT corruption case against eight defendants because of procedural errors by the prosecution. Those accused of large scale fraud included a former president, Gaston Flosse, and a French advertising executive, Hubert Haddad, who in 2013 had each been given five-year jail sentence.

Last year, the appeal court quashed the sentence over a technicality, but the prosecution wanted the court to rule on the substance.

The court has now upheld the objections by the defence, which says it is pleased that the law is upheld.

It is not immediately clear if a new case over the alleged corrupt deals will be filed or if the prosecution will take the latest appeal court ruling to France's highest court.

The OPT affair had gone to court after years of investigation during which Flosse lost his immunity as French Senator and spent several weeks in a Tahiti prison.

He was accused of getting more than two million US dollars in kickbacks for granting public sector contracts to Mr Haddad over a 12-year period.

Flosse lost office last year after being convicted of corruption.

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