Sroubek would have ‘a very good case’ to stay – Judith Collins

The AM Show 30/11/2018

Karel Sroubek will likely be allowed to stay in New Zealand if a judicial review is allowed to go ahead, says National MP Judith Collins.

Sroubek, a convicted drug smuggler who arrived in New Zealand on a false passport, was initially told by Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway he could stay in New Zealand following his prison sentence.

But Mr Lees-Galloway reversed his decision on Wednesday after weeks of media and political pressure, citing convictions he says he wasn't aware of when he initially granted residency.

The case summary however revealed Mr Lees-Galloway had been told about Sroubek's convictions back in the Czech Republic.

"I think there's a double jeopardy issue here," Sroubek's former lawyer Simon Laurent told RNZ. "Resurrecting something which no doubt was before the minister already does give a ground for review and that would be for a court to decide."

Ms Collins told The AM Show on Friday it's because Mr Lees-Galloway didn't take time to read the entire case file.

"If you don't read the file, you can't say it's not in it."

She says Mr Lees-Galloway is in "deep trouble" if a judicial review is granted.

"Speaking as a lawyer, I would think he'd have a very good case [to stay]."

Sroubek has claimed being deported to the Czech Republic would be a death sentence.

"I just want to stay in New Zealand because it is the only place that I am safe at the moment," he told Newshub Nation on Thursday.

National has called for Mr Lees-Galloway to resign as Immigration Minister. Labour MP Michael Wood defended his colleague, telling The AM Show he wasn't given "quite crucial information" information regarding Sroubek.

Mr Wood said the debacle has prompted a review on how Immigration handles cases like this one.

"The system didn't work perfectly, but we're reviewing it and making sure that it will in the future. Again, the right decision has now been made… He's tidying up the system - that's what a good minister does."

Mr Wood also accused National of letting criminals with worse convictions than Sroubek stay in New Zealand.

"There's a little bit of holier-than-thou going on."

Watch the full panel with Judith Collins and Michael Wood above.

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.

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