Karel Sroubek's mother implores he be given a second chance

  • 13/11/2018

Karel Sroubek's mother has spoken to media for the first time, begging that her son be given a second chance.

The woman known as Mila spoke exclusively to Radio New Zealand (RNZ) using a Czech interpreter on Tuesday.

She confirmed her son (using the name 'Jan Antolik') went back to the Czech Republic in 2009 despite his life being in danger, but says he only stayed a day before going back to Germany.

"It was his impulsive decision at that moment because he was very homesick, but we insisted he immediately return to Germany," she told RNZ.

She also gave more details about why the convicted drug smuggler can't return to his home country, saying he was a witness to a murder and was told to change his testimony.

Mila believes her son might be killed if he returns to the Czech Republic. She made an emotional plea to Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway to let Sroubek remain in New Zealand.

"I would ask the minister to give him one last chance to prove he is not a gangster, that he is not a bad person, and if he did everything he is now paying the consequences and is trying to straighten all that out."

She's angry at New Zealand politicians - particularly the National Party - using her son's case to score points.

"His life is not just a ball that is used for political gains."

She says she knows it looks bad that her son returned to the Czech Republic, but insists he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

"I love my son, and I wish him a better life and future, a safe life with a loving partner and to change his life. He is not a bad person."

Sroubek fled to New Zealand from the Czech Republic on a false passport in 2003. He soon became affiliated with Hells Angels in New Zealand, and was imprisoned for importing drugs, among other charges.

He was jailed in June 2016 for five years and nine months after a jury found him guilty of bringing Class-B MDMA powder into the country.

The Immigration Minister has faced backlash over his decision to grant Sroubek residency, and says he didn't know he'd returned to the Czech Republic when he made the call.  Mr Lees-Galloway says he is reconsidering the decision. 

Mila told RNZ she is "losing my strength and hope" about her son's future.