Flosse’s Lawyers: Statute Of Limitations For OPT Affair Applies

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Flosse’s Lawyers: Statute Of Limitations For OPT Affair Applies Long delayed case should be thrown out of court for timeliness

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 27, 2016) – Defence lawyers for French Polynesia's disgraced former president Gaston Flosse say the OPT affair can no longer be taken up in court to be tried.

In April, the case was thrown out over a procedural error, quashing the five-year jail sentences given in 2013 to Flosse and a French advertising executive, Hubert Haddad.

In 2011, the criminal court convicted Flosse for taking more than US$2 million in kickbacks for granting public sector contracts to Mr Haddad over a 12-year period until the middle of the last decade.

Flosse had admitted disbursing the money for private expenses.

The defence says the statute of limitations now applies and the case should be closed because more than three years have elapsed since the start of the initial probe.

The prosecution has told judicial authorities in Tahiti that there hasn't been such a delay.

A ruling on whether to abandon the affair is expected in early March.

Flosse lost the presidency in 2014 after being convicted in a major corruption case.

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