Ridgway resigned on 3 May 2005 and was expelled from Fiji on 22 June by the government of then-Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, while investigating alleged links between members of the government and the coup of 2000. The resignation and expulsion came after Ridgway had strongly criticized controversial government legislation which he interpreted as a legal mechanism for pardoning individuals convicted of participating in the coup. Following his dismissal and deportation, he accused the government of interfering with the course of justice by intervening in a number of coup-related trials, a reason he had given for his resignation.
On 31 December 2006, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, who had deposed Qarase in a military coup on 5 December, invited Ridgway to return to Fiji to restart his investigations into the 2000 coup. On 12 January 2007, Ridgway said he was considering the offer.
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