7 Dec 2010

Fiji criticises US for visa refusal

2:30 pm on 7 December 2010

Fiji has sharply criticised the United States for refusing to issue a visa to the Fiji Chief justice, Anthony Gates, who planned to attend a meeting of the International Criminal Court in New York.

The attorney-general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says the behaviour by the US embassy in Suva was arbitrary, arrogant and inconsistent.

The website Fijilive says the Board Chairman of Fiji Pine Limited and former Immigration Director, Viliame Naupoto, has also been denied a visa.

It says two months ago, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was himself denied a US visa.

There has been no explanation from the US embassy.

Last month, Fiji expelled an American businessman for allegedly interfering in Fiji's domestic affairs.

The US embassy in Suva didn't comment and the Fiji interim regime refused to say whether he had broken a law.