27 Jun 2007

Australian lawyer deported from Fiji denies breaching immigration regulations

8:32 am on 27 June 2007

The Australian lawyer detained and deported from Fiji yesterday, Dr John Cameron, is denying that he breached the country's immigration regulations.

The director of immigration, Commander Viliame Naupoto, says Dr Cameron was abusing his 14 -day business visa by engaging in full fledged employment when such visas are meant for exploratory work for investors and others.

But Dr Cameron has told the Fiji Sun newspaper from Australia that he was surprised he had been detained because just two weeks earlier Commander Naupoto had told him he could come and go as he pleased.

Dr Cameron says he did not come under a 4-month visitor's visa which prohibits employment but under a 14-day visa which is for business or employment.

He says under Section 9 (2) of the Immigration Act he can carry out his profession and that is as a barrister.

Dr Cameron says if he is required to stay more than 14 days he applies for an extension as he did in March.

Dr Cameron has also questioned the loyalty to him of the interim finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, saying he had intervened on Mr Chaudhry's behalf when he was locked up in the 1987 and 2000 coups.