Tuesday, June 24, 2008
tahitipresse carries news of the flosse defamation claim
translated from Tahitipresse, France 3
French senator Gaston Flosse says he will lay a claim of defamation against a documentary on France 3 TV accusing him of “the most abominable acts” relating to the disappearance in 1997 of journalist Jean-Pascal Couraud.
Broadcast in France on June 20 and rebroadcast in French Polynesia on June 22, the Tempo programme “Pieces of Evidence” focused on alleged graft by former French president Jacques Chirac, involving bank accounts in Japan.
Titled “Death in the Tropics” the documentary also focused on the role played by Flosse, alleging links with the disappearance of Couraud, by-lined JPK.
"This programme, specifically slanted, violates the basic principles of any democracy,” said Senator Flosse in a press release, carried by Tahiti Press Agency.
"I am indeed accused of the most abominable acts without being able to respond because despite the age of the criminal investigations and diligence by special magistrates in charge of these cases, I've never been called in judicially for questioning.”
"This situation also reflects the lack of credit given by Justice to evidence from these ‘canaries’ implying also that neither I nor my lawyer, have access to the file of instruction.
"The imbalance of the programme is therefore obvious and deplorable, since I cannot answer what was presented as evidence.
"Moreover, one can question the aims pursued by journalists since several reports were unrelated to the purpose of the programme but tended towards the object of ‘smearing’ me.”
"We even witnessed the sad spectacle of a ‘courageous’ judge - face hidden and voice disguised - settle his account with a prosecutor of the republic.
"This programme features only lies and falsehoods against me, without the slightest respect for ethics or codes of ethics. I can only claim jurisdiction for an action of defamation."
The statement from Flosse was the first in nearly three years on the JPK affair.
His accusation of journalism with a “particular orientation” plays on an accusation from France 3’s Tempo magazine that justice in French Polynesia is nuanced in a “particular manner.”
In their cover webpage, reporters Magali Serre and Christian Gaudin give background to the case.
“Despite reports from the Court of Auditors, despite the scandals, strange disappearances, the money evaporates, nothing changes, and nobody worries.”
Flosse to sue - Tahitipresse
Death in the tropics - France 3