Doubts are being raised in Solomon Islands over whether the prime minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo, has the authority to deport an Asian businessman.
The Solomon Star reports local lawyers as saying that he lacks the power to override the High Court which has yet to rule on the fate of Zhang Tongzhi.
Mr Darcy Lilo claimed that while the government respected the court process it would not back down on its decision to deport Mr Zhang.
His residence permit was cancelled two years ago after he was fined for breaching local laws.
Mr Zhang was caught illegally trying to export beche-de-mer and has been alleged to have circumvented the law in a seaweed export venture.