Pay up, court orders Fritch

PAPEETE – French Polynesia’s president says he won’t join his precedessor’s bid to go to the European Court of Human Rights after they were told to repay more than $US2 million ($F4.1m) misspent two decades ago.

Edouard Fritch said he would comply with the French courts while Gaston Flosse said he would pursue the matter in Strasbourg after the Supreme Court in Paris this week rejected his bid to quash a repayment order.

Twenty-two people are implicated in the case and compelled to jointly repay to the public purse the $US2.1m ($F4.1m) disbursed illegally over eight years to support Mr Flosse’s Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party.

Mr Flosse said he never abused public funds, adding that all contracts at the centre of the case were approved by successive French high commissioners. In 2014, Mr Flosse was given a suspended four-year jail term.

for running a network of phantom jobs and, after failing to get a presidential pardon from Francois Hollande, he had to resign.

Mr Fritch said he was committed to reimburse his share of the debt, although it is not clear when this will be done.

Last June, he was fined almost $US20,000 for a corrupt deal to support the Tahoeraa which he has since left.

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