Pres. Wants Journalist Disappearance Case Solved
FRENCH POLYNESIAN PRESIDENT
WANTS JOURNALIST DISAPPEARANCE CASE SOLVED
PAPE'ETE (RNZI Online/Pacific Media Watch): The French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse, says the mysterious disappearance of a journalist seven years ago needs to be clarified as soon as possible.
Jean-Pascal Couraud vanished seven years ago but in early October a former spy employed by Flosse¹s presidential force alleged that the journalist had been kidnapped and killed, and his body sunk off Tahiti.
The former spy, who implicated fellow members of the force in the case, was subsequently jailed for malicious slander.
But he has maintained that Couraud was assassinated and he is now free pending an appeal.
The journalist¹s family has lodged a formal complaint against unknown parties for murder after the prosecutor in Papeete said there was not enough evidence to reopen the case.
According to the Tahitipresse news agency, Flosse has now written to the appeal court, saying he wants light to be shed on the matter.
In October, Flosse solemnly declared he never ordered anybody¹s death and described the former spy as a false witness who lied to get a pay rise.
© RNZI 2004
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