30 Jun 2008

Australian Foreign Minister says third threat against Fiji High Commissioner is disturbing

7:57 pm on 30 June 2008

The Australian Government has confirmed that a third death threat this year has been made to it High Commissioner in Fiji, James Batley.

The Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith says the threat, in an anonymous letter on June 27, was a disturbing development.

He says it was serious, credible and offensive.

It follows threats made last month, believed to have been made by people unhappy with Australia's policies towards Fiji.

While security has been stepped up at the High Commission, Fiji has refused Australia's requests to bring in Australian Federal Police officers to protect diplomatic staff.

Mr Smith says Mr Batley left Fiji the day after the last threat on personal leave which had been arranged earlier.