16 Aug 2013

Tuvalu's previous government suspected in chief justice ban

4:53 am on 16 August 2013

The prime minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, says the previous government could be behind the chief justice being stopped from travelling through Fiji to Tuvalu.

Sir Gordon Ward is based in New Zealand but travels to Tuvalu for High Court sessions regularly.

He is under a travel ban imposed by the Fiji regime but Mr Sopoaga says he had no difficulties transitting through Nadi Airport until May, when the previous government of Willie Telavi was in charge.

At the time it was facing court action over a long delayed by-election.

Mr Sopoaga says he hopes they will find the failure to ensure Sir Gordon's access was a bureaucratic oversight.

"We need to understand exactly what happened. Whether it was a deliberate omission by the former government not to facilitate the transit of the CJ or an attempt on the other side. We are yet to know what happened."

prime minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga