Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway reveals Karel Sroubek's residency conditions

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway reveals Karel Sroubek's residency conditions
Sroubek is currently behind bars after being convicted of importing MDMA. Credits: Video - Newshub; Image - file

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway has released a letter he sent to convicted drug importer Karel Sroubek in September, outlining the conditions of his residency.

If he fails to meet them, he will again be eligible for deportation.

The conditions include not getting convicted of any offence in the next five years, not using any fraudulent IDs and not providing any Government agency with false or misleading information.

He also has to supply a valid travel document showing his true identity within five months of September 19, when the letter was sent. Sroubek arrived in New Zealand in 2003 on a fake passport, but avoided conviction when prosecuted years later.

He is currently behind bars after being convicted of importing MDMA. Sroubek says he was framed by the same people he was allegedly fleeing in the Czech Republic, where he is from.

Sroubek was denied parole as recently as last month, the board saying he gave "evasive, long-winded and... manifestly untruthful" answers to their questions.

"I have determined that the public interest in the case of Karel Sroubek's residency is deserving of further information," Mr Galloway said on Monday afternoon.

"Today I am releasing the letter that I sent to Mr Sroubek, that communicates the strict conditions he must meet in both the short term and longer term, and that in no way do I condone any of the behaviour that he is associated with.

"Any breach of these conditions is likely to lead to his deportation. As I have conveyed to him, I've given him one final chance to remain in New Zealand and live within our laws."

Mr Galloway has been criticised for not revealing just why Sroubek has been granted residency. The Opposition has called for him to step down if he can't explain it, saying New Zealanders need to know.

"I've talked to several former Immigration Ministers - they are flabbergasted by this," National leader Simon Bridges told The AM Show on Monday morning.

"What we've got here is a career criminal. He's been in gangs, he's dealing drugs and he came in on a fake passport. Let's cut to the chase on this. My simple question to the Prime Minister is why? She should be able to - without hiding behind stuff - tell us in general terms, in the public interest, why this man is still here and hasn't been deported."

And National's justice spokesperson Mark Mitchell says he will travel to the Czech Republic if needed to figure out what's going on.

"For privacy and legal reasons, as is standard practice for all administrations, I can't disclose the details of this case," said Mr Galloway.

"I can assure the public that this was a decision taken in full view of the information presented to me, and not a decision that I have made lightly.

"I will be making no further comment on this issue."

'Very odd decision'
 

Sroubek, also known as Jan Antolik, says he fled corrupt police in the Czech Republic after witnessing a murder. He went on to build a successful career as a kickboxer, but also reportedly had links to the criminal underworld, including the Hell's Angels gang.

Immigration lawyer Marcus Beveridge of Queen City Law told The AM Show granting Sroubek residency was a "very odd decision".

"What we should be doing is probably exporting him to the Philippines and President Duterte could meet him at the border."

But Alastair McClymont of McClymont and Associates told Newshub the minister would have "gone through a very long process in considering everything, and it would have been a very tough decision to make".

Newshub.

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