17 Mar 2008

Publisher of Fiji Times suggests administration is trying to intimidate

5:36 am on 17 March 2008

The publisher of the Fiji Times says he has no knowledge of an alleged article which led to him being summoned by the interim attorney general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiym.

Evan Hannah was called in by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum on Friday to discuss the possible publication of certain articles which the interim prime minister's office had received.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the articles contained a number of factual inaccuracies was very highly emotive and discussed matters that were before the courts.

Evan Hannah says he was told by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum that the interim government now believed this to be an issue of national security.

"This is exactly the situation they used to deport Russell Hunter as publisher of the Sun. I'm not suggesting that the government is lining up to deport me, but I think they are trying to intimidate us, and it turns out that we have never seen that article, it's not in our data base, our editor is mystified about it, so either the government has been misled or they have used this in some way to engineer the situation."

Evan Hannah says the Fiji Times paper should not be the subject of external intimidation that is unwarranted.