9 Oct 2006

Appeal Court in Vanuatu allows Papuan activist to stay

5:54 am on 9 October 2006

The lawyer for a Papuan activist says a final court ruling made in Vanuatu on Friday found there is no evidence that Andy Ayamiseba poses a threat to national security.

In April, Vanuatu's supreme court upheld a government order to deport Mr Ayamiseba after the minister for internal affairs, George Wells, said he was a risk to national security.

Felix Laumae Kabini says Mr Ayamiseba is allowed to stay in the country.

"The court of appeal found that that there is no evidence that the minister can rely on to use the power to deport Andy. The minister can only use the power if actions involving Andy are documented by national security and defence. That is the basis. The court found that there is no evidence or basis where the minister can rely on to deport Andy under the section."

Mr Ayamiseba says he applied for a permit to stay in Vanuatu last year and hopes that his papers will be processed soon.

The minister for internal affairs, George Wells, declined to comment.