Pape’ete, TAHITI – October 1, 2020: 8:24am (RNZ PACIFIC): The judicial authorities in French Polynesia have rejected a formal request to drop murder charges in the case of the alleged killing of a journalist Jean-Pascal Couraud.
The journalist, known as JPK, vanished in 1997, and a year ago his ex-partner Miri Tatarata and a friend Francis Stein were charged with his murder.
The two, who were said to have had an affair at the time of his disappearance, challenged the indictment process in December.
The duo’s lawyer said nothing had been added to the case file which warranted their continued status as charged suspects.
According to Tahiti-infos the bid was rejected and the charges have been upheld.
An investigation was first opened in 2004 after a former spy claimed that JPK had been kidnapped and killed by the government’s GIP militia, which dumped him in the sea between Moorea and Tahiti.
Murder charges against two members of the now disbanded GIP were dismissed more than five years ago, after incriminating wiretaps were ruled inadmissible because they had been obtained illegally.
However, kidnapping charges had been upheld.
It is not known when or if the case will go to trial.