3 Mar 2008

Fiji immigration law change not linked to Hunter expulsion, says interim minister

2:46 pm on 3 March 2008

Fiji's interim Government says it is just coincidence that immigration law was changed just a day after a publisher was expelled from the country.

The immigration act has been amended to say that the decision of the Immigration Minister to order someone's removal cannot be challenged in court.

Russel Hunter, who is an Australian citizen, was flown to Sydney on Tuesday after being declared a prohibited immigrant who posed a risk to Fiji's security.

Interim immigration minister, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, says the amendment came into effect the day after - while cabinet was sitting.

"It would have been better for Government had this law come in before Russel Hunter was removed but it didn't come into force until the day after. And I think the current immigration act was sufficient to actually effect the decision by Government to remove Russel Hunter on the grounds that he had breached the conditions of his work permit."

Ratu Epeli Ganilau.