A lawyer representing some of the Taiwanese nationals extradited from Kenya to China says the Kenyan government acted illegally and he will be suing the state over the violations.

Lawyer Steve Isinta said Wednesday he represented 37 of the 111 Chinese and Taiwanese nationals arrested in Kenya over wire fraud allegations. Isinta said his clients were acquitted of all charges last week and the court ordered that their passports be returned and gave them 21 days to leave the country. He said the government ignored the court orders, singled out 23 of his Taiwanese clients and deported them to China.

The incident is focusing new attention on Beijing's efforts to assert its sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan, and the leverage it wields over smaller nations to achieve that.