2 Dec 2010

Fiji yet to clarify Roth deportation

4:12 pm on 2 December 2010

Fiji authorities are still to say if an American businessman deported two weeks ago broke any law.

The information ministry says it is not privy to any information about the legal basis for expelling David Roth, who was employed by the US bottling company Fiji Water.

Although he had no diplomatic status, the regime expelled him for allegedly interfering in Fiji's domestic affairs, without elaborating on the nature of his actions.

It is being described as a matter between Mr Roth and the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

Fiji Water has also declined to comment but the president of the Australia Fiji Business Council, Brian Anderson, says the affair erodes confidence.

"Whether or not there was truth in the matter as to interference in Fiji politics, that's something there'll have to sort out themselves. It's disappointing to have a businessperson removed from the country. It just continues the erosion of confidence of investors going into Fiji."

Brian Anderson

The interim immigration minister, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, who resigned two days before the deportation, has also declined to comment on the expulsion but says he has noted that the Commodore has not explained the removal order.