27 Feb 2006

Lawyer critical of Vanuatu move against Papuan activist

4:46 pm on 27 February 2006

The lawyer for the Papuan independence activist challenging deportation in Vanuatu says the government's defence is unfair and lacks reasonable supporting evidence.

Earlier this month, Andy Ayamiseba was flown out of the country but returned to Vanuatu when neither Solomon Islands nor Australia would accept him.

In a sworn statement last week in the Supreme Court, Home Affairs minister George Wells said he decided that Mr Ayamiseba, who is a non-citizen, should be deported because he is involved in activities detrimental to national security and public order.

Mr Ayamiseba's lawyer, Felix Kabini, says the government alleges his client was involved in the formation of the 2004 government under present opposition leader Serge Vohor.

"And they allege that he was involved in a motion to topple the current government. And I basically referred him [Solicitor General] to the constitution which says that there's no law prohibiting internationals getting involved in politics in Vanuatu, except for voting rights. So therefore their reasons are unreasonable, there's no evidence which shows that he's involved in activities detrimental to national security."

The Supreme Court judgement is due on March 13th.