Four Detained New Caledonian Independence Leaders Will Be Sent to France

Christian Tein, pro-independence leader in the French Pacific territory New Caledonia will be held in France after being charged. Photo: X/ @MweneMavinga.

June 22, 2024 Hour: 1:06 pm

Four pro-independence leaders from New Caledonia who were arrested on Wednesday for their alleged role in last May’s riots will be sent to France for preventive imprisonment, authorities announced on Saturday.


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The main detainee to be transferred is Christian Tein, head of the Field Action Coordination Cell (CCAT), an organisation which the French authorities consider to be the main culprit in the riots.

Tein “has been presented to the detention judge and tonight has been placed in provisional detention. He should go to Mulhouse (east). We have no information on the exact date of the transfer,” his lawyer, Pierre Ortet, told La Première.

Three other detainees will also be transferred to prisons in different parts of France. Among them are Frédérique Muliava, head of the cabinet of the president of the Congress (territorial assembly) Roch Wamytan, and Brenda Wanabo-Ipeze, head of communication of the CCAT.

The four are part of the group of eleven independentistas arrested last Wednesday as part of the investigations for the riots in that territory, which began on May 12. Court hearings of all detainees were not concluded today and will resume on Tuesday.

The riots in May caused eight deaths, the burning of hundreds of buildings (mainly businesses and shops, the closure of airports and a disruption of citizen life due to the placing of numerous barricades on roads and streets.

The French Government sent a significant reinforcement of police and gendarmes and also suspended a constitutional reform that envisaged the opening of the census of the territory, which has been closed for decades, and which was the main cause of complaint of independentistas, generally aboriginal.

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