Friday , October 22 2021

Immigration Minister knew of Sroubek's crimes in Czech Republic



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Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway was informed of Karel Sroubek's violent crimes in the Czech Republic and allowed him to stay in New Zealand anyway.

Mr Lees-Galloway overrode that original decision today and ruled Sroubek could be deported once he was released from prison.

Sroubek was "liable for deportation" because his Czech convictions meant he had not been allowed in New Zealand in the first place, he said.

However, the case file – revealed under the Official Information Act – showed the Minister was informed about those crimes before he made his original call.

"Mr Sroubek is also wanted by Czech authorities for service of 54 months' imprisonment in connection with an incident on 28 June 1999, in which he attacked and grably injured two Police Officers and another incident on 4 October 1999 when he attacked a taxi driver , "the case summary said.

"It is understood that Mr Sroubek was convicted on 12 February 2002 of disorderly conduct, damaging the property's another and attacking a law enforcement officer."

Mr Lees-Galloway said he was only asking to consider Sroubek's New Zealand convictions and did not think to consider the rest.

"I did not think so," he told reporters. "It would be quite extraordinary to expect someone to think about all the other possible questions that might be asked.

"I do not know every single detail of the Immigration Act … I did not look at that and say 'ah, he should be an excluded person.'

"That was not something I was considering at the time."

Asked whether officials should have specifically pointed out that Sroubek could be deported on those grounds, Mr Lees-Galloway said a review in the whole process would consider that.

Sroubek came to New Zealand under a false identity, which is why his Czech convictions went unnoticed by Immigration NZ when it granted Sroubek's temporary and permanent residency visa.

Sroubek's lawyer Paul Wicks QC said his client was disappointed with the decision and planning to appeal the decision through the Immigration and Protection Tribunal.

Sroubek was also waking up a judicial review, he said.

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