Tahiti president accused of breaching Covid restrictions

French Polynesia's president Edouard Fritch has appeared in court charged with flouting Covid-19 restrictions at the height of the pandemic last year.

In August, he was at the wedding of vice-president Tearii Alpha, which was attended by more than 400 people, including almost the entire government.

The prosecution has asked for a $US3,200 fine for the president, with the verdict to be announced on June 2.

In the two weeks before the wedding, the incidence of the virus had increased 40-fold, prompting the government to decree a stop to all public events, imposing a nightly curfew, and limiting public gatherings to no more than 20 people and funerals to 15.

An investigation into the wedding was opened after videos began circulating, showing government ministers and other guests singing and dancing while disregarding distancing rules.

The president was filmed playing the guitar.

The prosecution wants Alpha, who organised the wedding, to be fined $US4,800.

Objecting to the law making vaccinations mandatory, Alpha refused to get an inoculation, saying he had a particular biological state, which he however declined to explain.

In November, Fritch stripped him of the vice-presidency but retained him as minister.

The tourism minister Nicole Bouteau resigned in protest for allowing Alpha to flout collective responsibility and ignore the law.

An amendment passed this year exempted assembly members from the vaccination obligation.