Prosecutors go to highest court

PROSECUTORS in French Polynesia have decided to take a former president Gaston Flosse and a leading pearl producer Robert Wan to the highest court in France.

The public broadcaster says this comes after the Court of Appeal in Tahiti last week acquitted the two of corruption charges over the purchase of an atoll at an overvalued price.

The appeal court upheld the decision by the criminal court two years ago, which cleared the two and four co-accused including incumbent President Edouard Fritch.

Mr Flosse was accused of abusing public funds by paying Mr Wan $US9 million ($F18.57m) to buy Anuanuraro atoll in 2002.

The sum was five times the atoll’s value, but Mr Flosse’s lawyer argued the valuations were incorrect and the embezzlement charges didn’t add up.

Mr Flosse said it was the then finance minister, Georges Puchon, who approved the purchase.

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