19 Nov 2010

Fiji regime confirms Roth departure

9:55 am on 19 November 2010

Fiji's Information Ministry has confirmed the head of US bottled water company Fiji Water left the country yesterday evening.

His departure came two days after the interim Minister of Immigration and Defence Ratu Epeli Ganilau resigned because of disagreement over plans to deport Fiji Water's David Roth.

Reports say Ratu Epeli, who was the Acting Prime Minister, refused to sign a deportation order.

He says it is a pity that Mr Roth has left the country.

The Permanent Secretary of Information in Fiji, Sharon Smith Johns, says she cannot say whether the American businessman left of his own accord or was ordered to leave by authorities.

"David Roth I believe left last night for Los Angeles, on the Los Angeles flight last night. My office has not been informed or notified in any way that he has been deported. I do know however that he has left the country."

Sharon Smith Johns says Commodore Bainamarama will say more on the sudden resignation of Ratu Epeli and the China trip when he returns to Fiji next week.