Exclusive: Details surrounding Karel Sroubek's residency revealed

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Thursday, 1 November 2018, 6:02AM
Ian Lees-Galloway confirmed he is reviewing his decision to allow the Czech national to stay in this country after he finishes his jail sentence.

Newstalk ZB can exclusively reveal the change in circumstance that could see controversial criminal Karel Sroubek lose his residency.

Under-fire Immigration Minister, Ian Lees-Galloway confirmed he is reviewing his decision to allow the Czech national to stay in this country after he finishes his jail sentence.

Newstalk ZB political editor Barry Soper told Mike Hosking the new information, which has sparked the change of heart, centres on Sroubek's now ex-wife.

Initially, she supported Sroubek's case for residency and said she was happy for him to stay in the country once he was released from jail, where he is currently serving a sentence for importing drugs.

"On the file, there was clearly information that the wife was in support [of him staying] and now for various reasons,  she has changed her mind," Soper said. 

"She is in the process of taking out a restraining order against him [and] she is apparently fearful of him. This man, you have to remember, has gang connections in New Zealand."

This is believed to be the information Lees-Galloway used to make his decision, which he is now reviewing.

"Immigration officials are checking out this information but in reality, this Government under this white-hot heat wants this decision, which was made under absolute discretion which means the minister doesn't have to explain himself, well that want it reversed."

"They [the Government] will argue that the safety of the ex-wife is paramount."

He said Ian Lees-Galloway is in real trouble following the release of documents showing Sroubek returned to the Czech Republic since arriving to New Zealand, which went against the suggestion the residency was for his protection.

"Can he survive? Well, calls made by the Immigration Minister are highly emotive, as we know. They capture the public imagination like nothing else, and the wrath like this case has had, it means they need to be watertight and unfortunately for Lees-Galloway, this one has leaks," Soper said. 

"The blame will be directed at immigration officials but the Minister is only as good as the information he is supplied with, and that's the argument I believe they will use." 

He said it is "incomprehensible" a man with Sroubek's history has been given New Zealand residency.

There has been intense opposition to the decision, with National leader Simon Bridges calling for Lees-Galloway to resign over his handling of the case.

Former Immigration Minister Tuariki Delamere, who was Karel Sroubek's lawyer, told Mike Hosking the entire situation is "mind-boggling".

"What the hell is Ian Lees-Galloway doing granting him residency. Nothing I have heard so far stacks up, there is no threat to him back in the Czech Republic."

LISTEN ABOVE AS BARRY SOPER SPEAKS WITH MIKE HOSKING 

 

 

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