2 May 2008

Fiji court orders detained publisher to appear before it this afternoon

10:20 am on 2 May 2008

The Fiji High Court issued an order late last night prohibiting the deportation of Fiji Times publisher Evan Hannah.

The Fijilive website reports that Mr Hannah, who was escorted from Suva by three Immigration officials and a policeman at around 8pm, is understood to be at a Nadi location awaiting the 9am flight to his homeland Australia today.

It is alleged Mr Hannah has violated the terms and conditions of his status in Fiji via articles published by the Fiji Times.

Fiji Times lawyer, Jon Apted, told the website that Justice Filimone Jitoko has ordered that Mr Hannah be produced in the Suva court by the authorities at 3pm today.

Mr Apted says copies of the court order have been faxed to various people.

In February, local lawyers acting for Fiji Sun publisher Australian Russell Hunter had obtained a similar order from the court, but were unable to deliver it on time to prevent Mr Hunter's removal.