Tahitian pro-independence leader Temaru detained over funding

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Oscar Temaru
Faa'a mayor and nuclear-free campaigner Oscar Manutahi Temaru during a zoom conference at Auckland University of Technology in 2020 ... “The two issues are tied — nuclear testing and our freedom.” Image: PMC screenshot

RNZ Pacific

French Polynesia’s pro-independence leader and mayor of Faa’a, Oscar Temaru, has been held for questioning over the funding of his defence in a 2019 trial.

Tahiti-infos reports that he and deputy mayor Robert Maker were questioned for six hours.

This comes amid an investigation into alleged abuse of public funds because the Faa’a Council had paid for Temaru’s defence.

He had been convicted of exerting undue influence and was given a suspended prison sentence as well as a US$50,000 fine.

The conviction will be appealed and is due to be heard in court in August.

As part of the probe into the defence spending in 2020, the prosecution ordered the seizure of Temaru’s personal savings of US$100,000.

The investigation is now under the control of a special trans-regional jurisdiction in Paris specialising in financial fraud, since the start of 2022, due to the complexity of the case.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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