The Yang Liu case

April 7th, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Yong Ming Yan – also known as Bill Liu, and William Yan – has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges relating to false declarations on immigration papers and using fake identities to obtain a passport. …

The Herald was first to report the criminal charges against Yan, a development which was embarrassing for several MPs who assisted his successful bid for citizenship.

The Herald may be first to report the criminal charges, but one should recognise that the entire story was broken by Ian Wishart.

Yan became a New Zealand citizen in August 2008 under the name Yang Liu. But he changed his name days later, and was granted a passport in the name of William Yan.

Passports in two other names were earlier seized by investigators. He was granted citizenship in a VIP ceremony in Wellington last year after lobbying from former Labour MP Dover Samuels, who regards him as a close friend.

Labour’s Chris Carter and National’s Pansy Wong also wrote letters of support for his citizenship. Rick Barker, the then Internal Affairs Minister, was also on the list of politicians who knew Yan.

And while slightly embarrassing, they had no idea that Liu was wanted on criminal charges, had been deported from Australia and had multiple fake aliases.

Because of this, he passed the file to another minister, .

Mr Jones overruled Internal Affairs advice that Liu – now Yan – did not meet character requirements and granted him citizenship.

Among the reasons officials gave for opposing Yan’s citizenship application was that they did not know his true identity as he had two names, two passports and two birth dates.

This is where the scrutiny should be. Shane Jones did know all of this. DIA was absolutely insistent that Liu should not be given citizenship. They talked of him being under criminal investigation.The Immigration Service said he should not even have residency, and wanted to revoke his residency status,

Yet Jones went ahead and made him a citizen. Why? Well he won’t say.

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15 Responses to “The Yang Liu case”

  1. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Why? I suspect a little forensic accountancy could help establish why.

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  2. aardvark (417 comments) says:

    KrazyKiwi… I agree!

    More trough-dwelling and self-interest on the part of our politicians.

    When the hell will people wake up and realise that we have *no* democracy so long as we accept the “gang politics” created by “toe the party line” policies and that it’s time there was a very public clean-up of our political system.

    We no longer have to put up with the serial-autocracy we currently endure.

    Now that the technology exists, it’s time to consider a fairer, more representative and democratic system of governance, such as Recoverable Proxy.

    The current system were we’re told “if you don’t like us, just vote us out at the next election” simply produces a succession of very bad governments whose self-interest is unfettered by the (supposedly) democratic processes under which they’re elected.

    This is the 21st century — why are we still using an antiquated system of government that is a hundred years out of date?

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  3. nickb (3,675 comments) says:

    Perhaps a contribution to Shane Jones’ election fund? Something very fishy is up.

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  4. Inventory2 (10,170 comments) says:

    Once again DPF, you ignore the role of another of Labour’s legends (in his own lunchtime), David Cunliffe

    The citizenship was granted nine months after officials advised the Immigration Minister at the time, David Cunliffe, that dual identities allegedly used by Yan were grounds to revoke his permanent residency.

    Cunliffe must front up with the reasons that he knew better than his officials. Had he followed their advice, Liu would have been able to be removed from New Zealand, and without residence, the issue of citizenship would have been rendered irrelevant.

    Did Cunliffe make his decision on the facts of the case, even though it was contrary to the recommedation of his officials. Or were there other factors influencing his decision – political factors? Cunliffe needs to break his silence on this issue.

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  5. david (2,553 comments) says:

    Pansy Wong needs to front as well. If she is in the habit of writing in support of every Chinaman that seeks citizenship regardless of their background, there is cause for a sanction and she would be unfit to hold a warrant.

    If her support was qualified as in ” …. I have known Billy Lui socially for the past 12 months and in that time he has shown no reason to suspect that his application should be refused ………” it would be given the weight it deserved by Immigration and would be one of literally thousands of such letters written by MPs.

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  6. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    @david – I agree that her support should be considered. However misguided, well intended support doesn’t come within a bulls roar of cash for favours.

    @Aardvark – Also agree. It’s O/T, but our electoral system doesn’t need a tweek, it needs a complete overhaul

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  7. wreck1080 (3,800 comments) says:

    The Shane Jones factor needs investigation.

    It is not a good look – and , for his sake also there should be some kind of corruption inquiry to clear him.

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  8. Ross Miller (1,681 comments) says:

    Now just remind me. Didn’t Liu’s citizenship ceremony take place in Parliament Buildings at the instigation of Jones (that must have been worth a good donation to his election campaign). Both of them are damaged goods. Liu should have his citizenship revoked and Jones should resign. He is as shallow as a bird-bath; had a reputation for not being on top of his (minor) portfolios as a Minister (remember the shower debacle); clearly will disregard official advice in return for …… and now is angling to move to Manurewa to take over Hawkin’s seat.

    Lazy arrogant sod.

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  9. Inventory2 (10,170 comments) says:

    Not quite Ross; Liu’s citizenship was indeed conferred at Parliament, but the person officiating was none other than Dover Samuels, who was one of Liu’s strongest supporters from the Labour ranks.

    Meanwhile, I’ve expanded on my comments about Cunliffe (above) in the post below:

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2010/04/more-on-bill-liu-case.html

    He and Jones are both damaged goods now. Who will be the beneficiary of that – Andrew “Two-Hats” perhaps?

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  10. big bruv (13,552 comments) says:

    “The police have fully investigated this accusation and while there could possibly be a prima facie case for prosecution we do not see it as being in the public interest”….Oh, hang on…change of government.

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  11. lofty (1,304 comments) says:

    Nice BB and tragically true.

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  12. Ross Miller (1,681 comments) says:

    BB – your point quite escapes me. The case is going to trial. What part of “has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges relating to false declarations on immigration papers and using fake identities to obtain a passport. …” don’t you understand?

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  13. backster (2,122 comments) says:

    “Yet Jones went ahead and made him a citizen. Why? Well he won’t say.”

    Will Jones be called as a witness by either side and made to ‘say’? Will the other Politicians be called to give evidence. Will their testimony be in secret? Will unsupported hearsay nonsense be accepted as evidence instead?

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  14. Mudwatcher (11 comments) says:

    Reasons which convinced Jones that it was time to grant approval might well have been that the case had been deferred time and again for many years, was supported by both major parties as a financial contributor and as a host of political party functions, and had a very good legal case argued by a QC.
    It is surely not suggested that the immigration bureaucracy had consistently functioned fairly, equably and without bias.

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  15. Inventory2 (10,170 comments) says:

    Nice try Mudwatcher, but when Ian Wishart first broke this story in October 2008, he had some pretty impressive information from the Dept of Internal Affairs. You can read the list of questions that the DIA presented to Liu at the post below, but DIA was aware that there was an Interpol red alert against Liu, that the Australian government had stripped him of $A3.3m in assets and that he was wanted by Chinese authorities. In spite of this, he was given citizenship, AGAINST the advice of officials.

    This has nothing to do with bureaucracy, but it has everything to do with political interference

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/10/cash-for-passports.html

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