The website of the international airport in Tahiti in French Polynesia has been hacked, displaying a message that the French President Nicolas Sarkozy died in a plane crash.

The airport director says the website manager is trying to trace the hackers, adding that they are seeking advice on whether to lodge a formal complaint.

For several hours, the site carried a message that a private jet with the President aboard had vanished from the radar screen after sending a distress signal near Bora Bora.

The message, which had typing errors, said efforts were being made to recover the black box.

It also expressed its condolences to Mrs Sarkozy.