The government of Nauru has sharply attacked the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, accusing it of spreading lies by replacing journalism with activism.
The outburst comes just days after the ABC reported that a Queensland phosphate importer allegedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Nauru's justice minister, David Adeang.
Nauru rejected the report and in a fresh statement, it now says sections of the Australian media continue to wage a campaign to destabilise the Nauru government by supporting members of the opposition who slander government MPs and spread lies about Nauru.
It insists that recent amendments to the criminal code are consistent with the constitution, saying no one is being arrested, no one is in jail, and freedom of speech is very much alive.
It also says Nauru's legal system is arguably the most independent, transparent and credible in the Pacific.
The government says journalists have embarrassingly allowed themselves to be used by a small group of opposition MPs who are laughing at how easy it is to manipulate Australia's media.
Last year, the president Baron Waqa sacked the chief justice and deported the only magistrate to reform the judiciary.
The Speaker suspended five opposition MPs a year ago after accusing them of treason.