Monday, December 29, 2008

jpk lawyers name agents in “very disturbing” deaths



An undated, hand-written letter outlining the abduction, torture and killing of a former Pape’ete editor was found at the home of a former French Polynesia president.

Police officers found the letter in a drawer during a raid on Flosse’s home in September 2008.

News of the find only emerged today.

Gaston Flosse at first refused comment, according to a report from AFP, later issuing a statement labelling the allegations “scandalous.”

Author of the letter is said to be Vetea Cadousteau, a former member of a secret spy cell who died in “very disturbing” circumstances, according to lawyers for a support committee of the editor, Jean-Pascal Couraud.

Handwriting analysis of the letter was “inconclusive”, said laywers James Lau and Max Gatti in a statement for Soutien JPK.

Further testing is needed to confirm the author of the letter of testimony, several pages long.

Lawyers for Flosse, a member of the French senate, dismissed the letter as a “set up”, part of a “plot”.

The letter claims to explain how Jean-Pascal Couraud was abducted, tortured to force him to confess where he had hidden files and how, when he was already half-drowned, a senior member of the DGSE gave orders to drop his body into 2,000 metres of water, tied to several fishing weights.

A few hours after the AFP report, Flosse released a statement to Agence Tahiti Presse from Fakarava, an outer island 432 kilometres north west of Tahiti.

Flosse attacked critics and press for continuing “to speak of kidnapping and murder of Jean-Pascal Couraud when, after more than 10 years since the disappearance of this journalist, nothing has come out to back this up. "

In his statement, Flosse said that he was guilty “merely of receiving an anonymous letter, describing alleged revelations about this case, like Oscar Temaru did in 2004, receiving testimony from Vetea Guilloux.”

Unlike testimony given to the Temaru administration, Flosse has never publicly referred to the letter.

Flosse backed away from dismissing the claims entirely.

“When you know that Vetea Guilloux been sentenced to prison for his testimony, there is no hasty conclusion to be drawn from this document.”

Backing up his warning against hasty conclusions, Flosse said he has “never been questioned by Justice in this case.”

Vetea Guilloux was a member of the same spy cell who, in October 2004, told a minister in the then new Temaru government he had overheard colleagues during a party at Kikiriri resort, drunkenly boasting about killing Couraud.

Today, Gatti said a second death of another Flosse spy allegedly involved in killing Couraud, Firmin Hauata, “goes deep.”

Their statement comes three years after an editorial alluding to the deaths was made by monthly news magazine, Tahiti Pacifique.

Cadousteau drowned in roughly 20 centimetres of water according to a November 2005 report referring to the trained diver as “V.C.” and Hauata as “F.H.”

Hauata died of a heart attack while building hurricane relief housing in Tonga despite being in “good health”, according to the Tahiti Pacifique editorial.

Officers in the raid came from DNIF, Division Nationale des Investigations Financières, French equivalent of a serious fraud squad.

DNIF officers are also looking into the Clearstream affair, a huge banking scandal linked with the disappearance of Couraud, known as JPK.

Facing numerous claims of corruption during a 30 year political career, the assassination allegation is by far the most serious for Flosse.

He drew long links between the statement from the JPK support committee and attempts by Paris authorities to undermine his political credibility.

Flosse questioned why “little known” lawyers would raise the names of Cadousteau and Hauata only today when they died four years ago.

Referring to himself in the third person, Flosse said that as “Senator Gaston Flosse plays a decisive role in political reconciliation in French Polynesia, he can only wonder about the values of certain state authorities knowingly manipulating judicial information for the sole purpose of trying to block a political consensus which does not meet with the consent of certain people in Paris.”

“Pure coincidence or deliberate?” he questioned.

“In any event, Gaston Flosse is unable to verify the allegations of counsel because, not being indicted, he does not have access to the file. These statements seem so ridiculous to judicial authorities that Gaston Flosse has never been summonsed.”

In a report headlined, “Letter’s discovery widens mystery around missing French Polynesian journalist” Radio New Zealand International reports that the spy cell in GIP, an emergency response group, Groupe d’Intervention de Polynésie was set up with “tacit knowledge of the French authorities.”

Contrary to French law against domestic surveillance by non-state groups, the GIP surveillance cell eavesdropped and recorded dozens if not hundreds of Flosse foes, friends; even lovers of former Flosse girlfriends.

One piece of testimony differs significantly from earlier accounts.

Guilloux testified that he had heard the agents talking about tying four concrete blocks to the half-drowned body of Couraud.

However according to today’s statement from the JPK committee lawyers, Couraud was tied to fishing weights.

. . .

Saturday, December 20, 2008

french security advisers hold back 14 documents

. . .


NEWS


Thirteen of 26 new national security documents involving former French president Jacques Chirac are likely to stay top secret, despite links to an inquiry involving alleged assassination.

Just 11 of the documents were recommended for full release on 4 December 2008, according to last Friday’s Official Journal, a state gazette.

“Partial declassification” for two further documents were made by members of the CCSDN, la Commission consultative du secret de la défense nationale.


A powerful advisory commission overseeing judicial inquiries and other requests for release of national defense secrets, CCSDN members recommended against the declassification of 13 documents.


This compares with earlier recommendations releasing 16 of 17 documents from another dossier considered by CCSDN.


All 132 recommendations from the national security commission have so far been accepted by ministers of the day.


First story on the new documents appeared at a quarter to six last Friday evening, according to a timestamp on a story at Le Nouvel Observateur, a weekly newsmagazine.


The report was picked up by Tahitipresse, publishing online 4:19 hours later, adding direct reference to the five-year-old Clearstream scandal.


Neither reported who submitted the 26 documents for declassification.


Two judicial inquiries are active.


Links to Jean-Pascal Couraud, a former editor in Pape’ete, emerged when leaked documents exposed a Chirac bank account in Tokyo with 300 million Francs, about US$70 million.


Various witnesses have told the media of Couraud investigating the account before he disappeared 11 years ago on a Monday night, 15th December 1997.


The Tokyo bank is owned by a relation of Gaston Flosse, a former president of French Polynesia.


CCSDN recommends solely on declassification of documents concerning national security.


In this latest decision, the 13 still-secret documents join one earlier paper, held back from a first dossier of 17 recommended for declassification.


This brings a total of 42 documents considered for declassification since October, with 27 recommended for declassification, 14 staying top secret and two partially declassified.


The CCSDN never releases documents itself.


First, a minister must consider the commission’s recommendations, and, if accepted, documents then go to judicial inquiry, for possible publication with findings, months or years later.



. . .

Friday, December 19, 2008

more chirac papers released in affair JPK


earlier coverage: exposing bank accounts in japan, belonging to former french president, jacques chirac, and former french polynesian president, gaston flosse.
. . .

NEWS RELEASE

A national security commission in Paris approved declassification of 11 documents last Friday, opening new links between an alleged assassination of a former Pape’ete editor with ex-president Jacques Chirac.

It is the second dossier of top secret papers to emerge from two judicial inquiries exploring growing links.

Of 26, two further papers were recommended for partially declassification by La Commission consultative du secret de la défense nationale (CCSDN), a powerful advisory commission overseeing judicial inquiries and other requests for release of national defense secrets.

Commission members recommended 13 documents not be approved for declassification.

All 132 recommendations from the national security commission have so far been accepted by ministers of the day.

First story on the new documents appeared at a quarter to six last Friday evening, according to a timestamp on a story at Le Nouvel Observateur, a weekly newsmagazine.

The report was picked up by Tahitipresse, publishing online 4:19 hours later, adding direct reference to the five-year-old Clearstream scandal.

No details were reported on who submitted the 26 documents for declassification.

Two judicial inquiries are active.

Links to Jean-Pascal Couraud, a former editor in Pape’ete, emerged when leaked documents exposed a Chirac bank account in Tokyo with 300 million Francs, about US$70 million.

Various witnesses have told the media of Couraud investigating the account before he disappeared 11 years ago on a Monday night, 15th December 1997.

The Tokyo bank is owned by a relation of Gaston Flosse, a former president of French Polynesia.

CCSDN recommends solely on declassification of documents concerning national security.

In this latest decision, the 13 still-secret documents join one earlier paper, held back from a first dossier of 17 recommended for declassification.

This brings a total of 42 documents considered for declassification this month, with 27 recommended for declassification, 14 staying top secret and two partially declassified.

The CCSDN never releases documents itself.

First, a minister must release their decision, and then the documents go, in this case, to judicial inquiry, and documents do not necessarily get published with findings, months or years later.

. . .

Thursday, December 18, 2008

silence marks jpk anniverary

...

EDITORIAL


A family falls silent.
An anniversary passes.
Eleven years, to be sure.
No press releases.
No conference statements.
No email alerts.
Still, no trace, Jean-Pascal Couraud.
An investigation, yes.
Four years old.
For a man not forty.
Family falls silent, crestfallen, facing, full force, the French state.
Freemasons, far frontiers, financial flows, fundamental flaws, fundamentalists.
No foreigner.
Nor freelancers sans frontiers.
Now, just silence.
Six months, no more.
Surf.
Curving onto reef, close; shhhhhh, ukulele, hymn, prayer.
Frangipani tree, memory, brothers once three.
No bottles, none smashed.
Silence, volumes, dawning daze, subprime reality, la force de frappe, sans frontières.
France.
Flapping tricolour, rainbow reviewed, eternally.
Fairly, not really, a frogmen follow-up from mercy dash,
Federated states of micronesia, jelly
Fish babies.
For sure.
A photographer, globally mourned.
An editor, forgotten.
Albion.

...