21 Jan 2014

Nauru government a dictatorship, says opposition

10:15 am on 21 January 2014

An opposition MP in Nauru, Mathew Batsiua, says the Nauru government is acting like a dictatorship following the sacking and deportation of the country's only magistrate and the barring of its Chief Justice.

Peter Law was sacked, arrested and forcibly taken to the airport to return to Australia on Sunday.

The government also cancelled the visa of Chief Justice Geoffrey Eames who wanted to return from Australia to sort out the matter.

Mr Batsiua says he confronted a government minister, Shadlog Bernicke, who told him the Chief Justice would also be dismissed in due course.

"And I said they can't do that because there's a process that has to be followed which involves parliament sanctioning the termination of the Chief Justice. That didn't seem to faze him, what I said and he then threatened to go into a state of emergency if we tried to hamper the dismissal."

Mathew Batsiua says the sacking following a recent huge hike in the cost of journalists' visas have set Nauru back twenty years.