28 Apr 2008

Legal challenge launched in Solomon Islands against deportation order

5:22 am on 28 April 2008

In Solomon Islands, the Managing Director of Russell Islands Plantation Limited, has launched a legal challenge against the deportation order given to him by the government.

John Whiteside was declared persona non grata by the government last Thursday and had his permit to be in Solomon Islands cancelled.

He is considered an obstacle by the government to resolving the industrial dispute between the company and employees, which has led to thousands of workers being without pay for years.

Mr Whiteside took the matter to the High Court on Friday morning and a stay of order was issued by the Chief Justice until May 15, when issue will come up in the High court.

He says the government will need to explain in the High court why he has been asked to leave the country.

"In the time I have been here I have dealt with so much nonsense, like to me, ok, you know, what's next? I don't know how one individual can be regarded by the government as an obstacle."