7 Dec 2010

Fiji criticises US for visa refusal

11:15 pm on 7 December 2010

Fiji has criticised the United States for refusing to issue a visa to Fiji's Chief Justice, Anthony Gates.

Mr Gates had planned to attend a meeting of the International Criminal Court in New York.

Fiji's Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the behaviour by the US embassy in Suva was arbitrary, arrogant and inconsistent.

The website Fijilive 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 Fiji interim regime refused to say whether he had broken a law.