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New Caledonian provincial president retrial ordered

Monday 28 November 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in New Caledonia, Regional

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New Caledonian provincial president retrial ordered
President of New Caledonia's Northern Province Paul Neaoutyine Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel

Last year, the Appeal Court in New Caledonia gave the president of New Caledonia's Northern Province, Paul Neaoutyine a suspended four-month prison sentence, and fined him $US10,000.

France's highest court has however ordered a retrial.

Neaoutyine, had been convicted for favouritism.

The court in Paris has instructed the Appeal Court to hold a fresh trial but only to reconsider the fine, not the suspended jail term.

In 2019, the criminal court had found Neaoutyine guilty of misspending public funds over allocations to various organisations, including one related to transporting disabled children.

He had been given a suspended eight-month jail sentence and a $US5,000 fine.

At his trial he had argued that such transport was the responsibility of the territorial government, which he said didn't do its job.

Neaoutyine said he had not been authorised to call for tenders but did not want to leave the children without support.

His lawyer told local media that the justice system had failed to understand the shortcomings in the administrative process.