Iain Lees-Galloway’s big mistake


Recently a case involving a Czech national convicted on drug smuggling charges came to light. It did so because Minister for Immigration, Iain Lees-Galloway decided that the claim by Karel Sroubek, who was convicted of importing $375,000 in drugs, that he faced undue danger if deported back to the Czech Republic was indeed credible.

Mr Sroubek was due to have been deported after finishing his sentence at Auckland South Prison. Instead Mr Lees-Galloway has decided Mr Sroubek shall under “strict” conditions be allowed residency instead.

Perhaps Mr Lees-Galloway thought he was being sensible. Perhaps he thought he was doing New Zealand’s humanitarian reputation a favour. Perhaps he even thought there would somehow be a downside to not letting Karel Sroubek in.

Whatever the case – and perhaps Czech officials were corrupt, or otherwise not able to be relied on to properly handle the case against Mr Sroubek – the risks are in the public perception too high to let him stay. In my assessment the “strict” conditions that Mr Lees-Galloway put on him are laughable and if Mr Sroubek really is to stay here, they need to be tightened drastically. He has the following conditions imposed on him by order of Mr Lees-Galloway as Minister of Immigration:

  1. No criminal offending in New Zealand or elsewhere in the next five years*
  2. No fraudulent use of ID in the next five years
  3. Not to provide misleading information or conceal information from the authorities

*Wow. Not doing something people should not be doing anyway? WOW!!!! I mean really???

IF those are serious conditions, then I guess the following ones that I think are more appropriate would be considered draconian. Yet I think there are probably many New Zealanders who think even my conditions are lenient and in some respects, they are probably right.

At the very least the following conditions should be imposed in addition to the ones that actually were:

  1. Mr Sroubek be restricted to a particular police monitored address
  2. Have a tracking bracelet
  3. Report to the local police station until otherwise advised – say once a week
  4. Failure to comply with any one or more of these voids the residency and unless it is found that Mr Sroubek’s life is in immediate danger, are grounds for deportation

Right now, I am not in the camp of Mr Lees-Galloway. The Minister does have explaining to do to Parliament about the conditions that Mr Sroubek is subject to. The Minister should take counsel on the matter, if for no other reason than because the person concerned is subject to very serious offences that in some national jurisdictions include the death penalty. And the Prime Minister would be well advised to stand him down if he does not.

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