Saturday, January 31, 2009

flosse says no hasty conclusions

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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.

Details of the find only emerged last month.

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 did not dismiss the new testimony 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 office.

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 Polyn√©sie 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.


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Friday, January 30, 2009


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JPK Update takes today's headlines from leading news sites, most in French, just a few in English, about a Tahiti scandal that started out as an allegation of assassination and continues, to this day, to ensnare a widening ring of global figures.

Most significant, former French president Jacques Chirac, alleged to have held roughly US$70 million inside a Tokyo bank set up by the family of a protege, former president of French Polynesia, Gaston Flosse.

Disgraced United States investor Bernard Madoff - accused of spiriting away US$50 billion, the biggest fraud in court history - is another well known name emerging in links with Clearstream, a clearing bank.

A kind of bank-for-banks, Clearstream officially acts exclusively as an independent check on transactions between banks.

Allegations emerging in 2001 saw Clearstream accused of opening secret accounts for some of the world's biggest banks, as well as for private individuals and other "non-banks."

Jean-Pascal Couraud disappeared holding a dossier of documents some seven centimetres thick, said to involve Clearstream.

JPK's name came up in secret diaries of a French spy during a separate inquiry into Clearstream, still ongoing.

His body has never been found.

Multiple testimonies have emerged regarding his abduction, beating, roping and chaining at sea, before being let go, into waters more than 2,500 metres deep.

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JPK Update was set up by ANA,
avaiki nius agency in November 2005, following a trip to French Polynesia to cover February by-elections.

Then, as now, the site serves as an attempt to cross the language barrier between French and English media coverage of the alleged assassination of former Pape'ete editor, Jean-Pascal Couraud, an investigative journalist.

Known as JPK, the Couraud case is regionally significant in being the first journalist to have dissapeared while on active duty, the first allegedly assassinated.

More about
avaiki nius agency.

contact update editor

. . .


Bloggers, media colleagues and members of the public are welcome to use information and pictures from these pages.

Linking to pictures and pages is welcomed, as is attribution to Avaiki Nius Agency.

For more information, see contacts below.

jason brown
project jpk
tagata pasifika
po box 3819
100 victoria street west
aotearoa new zealand

mobile +642102484560
phone +6499167058
fax +6499167552

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french journo faces six million euro in claims

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Bailiffs have appeared on his doorstep at home some 200 times, claims the support committee behind France’s leading investigative journalist.

There are some 30 court cases lodged in progress against Denis Robert in what may prove to be one of the biggest banking scandals yet – even after the global economic crisis.

So far, a total of six million euros are being claimed against Robert and various French media who have reported his claims of vast networks of corruption, much of it allegedly linking to the global economic crisis.

Robert has been forced to start selling paintings, tshirts, and to step away from exposes and pen a novel to try and match steadily climbing legal bills.

Most of the claims come from Clearstream, a clearing bank so secretive French judges have publicly denounced it as the “black box of offshore banking.”

Some 500 journalists have scanned in their press cards and sent them into one of a handful of blogs set up to support Robert.

Another 5,300 have signed a petition in support of the investigative journalist.

Such support perhaps explains an astonishing move made by Clearstream – a large ad in Le Monde newspaper last month offering an “amicable” agreement with the author of Revelation$, a 2001 book alleging a secret, secondary banking system involved in global, high-level corruption.

Roberts told French media he had decided to reject the Clearstream offer.

“An impossible offer is impossible”.

Upon reflection and after consultation with his lawyers, Denis declined the "offer" and wrote in a text published Wednesday 29 October by Liberation.

His last post on his old blog, Le domination du monde – Domination of the World – outlines legal threats against him.

Warnings against the chilling effect on freedoms of speech from global banking interests date back to 2006.

“Today after five years of fighting in France and also in Luxembourg, Switzerland and Belgium, Denis Robert can no longer keep up financially.

“A case of a writer and his revelations - annoying for those in power. His last book "Clearstream, the investigation" did not help matters: Clearstream filed new complaints in Luxembourg and France and claiming vertiginous damages on behalf of various interests. The firm also attacks his interviews in the press.

“If we take into account complaints by the Russian bank Menatep, a general bank of Luxembourg, the auditors Barbier-Frinault or that of (former French prime minister) Dominique de Villepin, 31 procedures are underway at this time. None are close to being finally judged as Clearstream and its allies use defamation cases against him and call for judicial review if they are dismissed.

“In total, more than six million euros in damages and accumulated interest are claimed from Denis Robert, his witnesses, the website Arena and its publishers and Julliard Canal Plus which broadcast his films.

“Of 28 judgments, by 1 June 2006, Clearstream and its allies had only 3 euros between them when they had asked for between 100 and 300 000 per claim.”

“We do not want to leave Denis alone.

“That is why we appeal to you to provide practical support for his defense against the juggernaut of Clearstream and its allies.

“In his books and films, he has helped us to better understand the scenes of high finance and means put in place aimed at looting States with financial ‘black boxes” like Clearstream.”

This year, Roberts diversified his Clearstream outputs to include a comic book – or graphic novel as they are more politely known.

“A cartoon like this is the juice (he spells it out, le suc), ten years that are compressed, condensed in a narrative and reflections”, he tells French news site, Mediaslice.

Appearance of a comic book is a rare event among English investigative journalists, but graphic novels are a respected and influential part of life in France.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

tahiti spy letter predicts own murder

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A Tahiti spy wrote he would be murdered to cover up a mafia-style drowning, just off the coast of the capital of French Polynesia.

“I know that I will be killed,” reads a letter, unsigned, undated.

Attributed to Vetea Cadousteau, the letter outlines how he and three other men allegedly assassinated a former Pape’ete editor in 1997.

The body of investigative journalist Jean-Pascal Couraud has never been found.

Cadousteau was discovered dead in a river in 2004.

Widespread speculation year after year links circumstantial evidence about the deaths to a vast banking scandal, Clearstream, well known among French media audiences, almost unknown in English circles, involving a dossier said to have been hidden by Couraud at his family home.

Yesterday’s edition of Le Monde published quotes from the letter about the killing of the investigative journalist, Jean-Pascal Couraud, known as JPK.

Initial analysis of the hand written letter returned inconclusively.

Follow up tests to authenticate the author of the letter have been ordered by an examining magistrate, the third judge to head the JPK case.

Justice Jean-Paul Redonnet also ordered medical records from the inquest into the death of Cadousteau, an expert diver, his body found slumped in 20 centimetres of water.

A respected, centre-right daily in Paris, Le Monde published police notes from an interrogation of French senator Gaston Flosse. The purported spy “letter of testimony” was uplifted from a desk drawer, during a September 2008 police search of his home.

Details from the search, by police officers from DNIF, the National Directorate of Financial Investigations, only came to light over New Year holidays.

After the search, police interrogated Flosse.

He admitted getting the letter about the killing of Couraud, raised in Polynesia from the age of five, but told police he found it “crazy.”

Police asked Flosee why he had not forwarded the letter to Justice officials.

Explaining indirectly, he claimed if there was “any real story I would have got rid of this document ."

French media allude to comments made “in the heat of the moment” by Flosse.

Later quotes are said to vary.

This month’s issue of independent monthly Tahiti Pacifique compares comments from the police record of the Flosse home interrogation against later quotes from interviews with local media.

Tahiti Pacifique describes a “change in versions.”

Allegations of assassination of JPK first emerged in late 2004.

Flosse always denies any role in alleged assassination of Couraud.

Inquest notes quoted by Le Monde diagnose the Cadousteau death as being "consistent with heavy blows to the head."

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Correction: "2007" search of Gaston Flosse a typo mistake, updated to "2008".