Man accusing of killing a Tahiti journalist faces renewed charges

Accused suspect Francis Stein . . . first charged in 2019, but won an appeal
Accused suspect Francis Stein . . . first charged in 2019, but won an appeal. Image: RNZ Pacific/Polynésie la 1ere

RNZ Pacific

Murder charges have been reinstated against the man suspected of killing French Polynesian journalist Jean-Pascal Couraud, known as “JPK” — his byline, who vanished in 1997.

Francis Stein, a former head of the territory’s archive service, was first charged in 2019 but France’s highest court accepted his appeal last year that investigative magistrates had breached rules during his questioning.

The investigative magistrates have now revived their probe against Stein and Miri Tatarata, who was JPK’s partner.

The pair are both accused of killing JPK, an investigative journalist who was editor-in-chief of the French-language newspaper Les Nouvelles de Tahiti, whose body has never been found.

An investigation was first opened in 2004 after a former spy claimed that JPK had been abducted and killed by the government’s GIP militia, which allegedly dumped him at sea between Moorea and Tahiti.

Murder charges against two members of the now disbanded GIP were dismissed eight years ago, but kidnapping charges have been upheld.

French Polynesian journalist Jean-Pascal Couraud
French Polynesian journalist Jean-Pascal Couraud, who disappeared in 1997. Image: RNZ Pacific/AFP

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

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