27 Jun 2007

Lawyer says he was deported from Fiji for assisting critics of the coup

1:52 pm on 27 June 2007

An Australian-based lawyer forced from Fiji claims the action was payback by the country's military regime for the work he was doing with critics of the coup.

Dr James Cameron was deported from Fiji yesterday.

He had been accused of working in Fiji despite entering the country on a 14-day visitor's permit.

But the Perth-based New Zealand lawyer denied breaching his entry requirements and said he had worked using the same sort of visa in Fiji for 15 years.

He says the interim regime's move has everything to do with interference in the judiciary.

Dr Cameron says the head of immigration is a 'bozo' who should read the Immigration Act.

Dr Cameron says the action was linked to his work representing Fiji civil rights activist Angie Heffernan, who has a legal case underway questioning the validity of emergency regulations that were in force until the end of May.

He says despite the regulations being lifted, it is important to challenge their legality, as they could be re-introduced at any time.