The lawyer of France’s former ambassador to Vanuatu says the case over his client’s alleged sexual assault has been handled in a grotesque fashion.

The diplomat, Robby Judes, was sacked in March after two women in New Caledonia accused him of assault.

After questioning Mr Judes, the prosecutor in Noumea decided to close the case, saying the ambassador losing his job was punishment enough.

The lawyer Eric Dupond-Moretti has told New Caledonia’s public broadcaster that his client was sacked even before there was an investigation.

Furthermore he said it was hard to understand that while the prosecutor established there was an infraction, he decided to close the case.

Mr Dupond-Moretti said it was intolerable that his client’s presumption of innocence had been cast aside.

He said he would raise this with the French president Emmanuel Macron.

On Monday, the group Women in Anger rallied outside the Noumea court saying the prosecutor’s decision was unacceptable and urged him to reopen the file.

Mr Judes had rejected the accusations, saying he might be the target of a plot.