Judge says citizenship grant “highly suspicious”

May 31st, 2012 at 5:30 pm by David Farrar

Stuff report:

A High Court judge has ruled that the way Chinese millionaire Yong Ming Yan was granted citizenship was “highly suspicious”. 

The full decision is online here.

I step back now and look at the evidence as a whole. Overall, it proves a situation that is highly suspicious. An adult male obtains two passports in different names and with different dates of birth. He uses them both to access Australia and the United States of America. He uses one of them to access New Zealand. He does not disclose his dual identities. New Zealand immigration documents are filled in and in some cases signed on his behalf. Four of the five are false in that they assert that there is no other identity. Regardless of the validity of the passports, this proven situation is highly suspicious. But to move from highly suspicious to proof beyond reasonable doubt of dishonest intention, more is required.

Proof beyond reasonable doubt is a very high standard.

UPDATE: Have had pointed out the highly suspicious comments made by the Judge refer to the application for citizenship, rather than the decision itself – so the Stuff story is somewhat misleading in that regard.

 

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33 Responses to “Judge says citizenship grant “highly suspicious””

  1. jaba (2,141 comments) says:

    I would be a stunned mullet if Shane stays on .. Beamont will be back (hehehe) so more angst for Shearer.
    the most interesting thing now is .. will anyone else be sucked into this dodgy little situation (Helen, Silent T and ??)

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  2. Rodney Hide (61 comments) says:

    That Stuff report is sloppy, is it not? The paragraph you quote has the Judge saying the dual identities and false documents are suspicious, not the granting of citizenship.

    The Judge is not saying the way “Yong Ming Yan was granted citizenship was highly suspicious”. The journalist is making it up unless you got another sentence you can direct me to.

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  3. jims_whare (403 comments) says:

    I’m not sure the judge made the right call on this one. His own words set out the case against Yan.

    Perhaps they should make identity fraud a specifiable offence – intention/motive shouldn’t come into it.

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  4. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    The waka-jumping legislation is gone. Jones could quit Labour and remain in parliament as an independent. If the reports via Whaleoil are correct and he is renting an office in Whangarei under his own name, it is quite possible that is what he has in mind.

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  5. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    I think in the court case there was a reasonable explanation for at least one of the identities around being adopted and given a different name & DOB from the new parents.
    But still seems super-dodgy.

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  6. Scott Chris (6,133 comments) says:

    Judge says citizenship grant “highly suspicious”

    No he didn’t. Stuff’s Michael Field has misrepresented what the judge said, and David Farrar has parroted that misrepresentation.

    Shoddy all round really.

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  7. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    In defence of Field, there are two possible meanings to “the way Chinese millionaire Yong Ming Yan was granted citizenship”.

    One relates to the application process – the filing of papers, etc by the applicant (and his advisers). This is what the judge was looking at, to see whether Yan had knowingly filed false information (which is a criminal offence). And the judge says that this looked highly dodgy, but there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that Yan knew of the various false statements made on his behalf.

    The other relates to the actual decision that Yan should get citizenship. This wasn’t any part of the judge’s decision, and he goes out of his way to say that he didn’t consider it at all.

    You may very well think that some people are eliding meaning two with meaning one … but I couldn’t possibly comment.

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  8. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    “Stuff’s Michael Field has misrepresented …..”

    He’s got plenty of prior form. It’s why he was booted out of Fiji.

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  9. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    “No he didn’t.”

    Yes he did: “[91] I step back now and look at the evidence as a whole. Overall, it proves a situation that is highly suspicious.”

    Now stop talking crap.

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  10. David Garrett (7,270 comments) says:

    Fuck off! Justice Brewer is saying – in his totally correct “Auckland Club” way – “this matter stinks to high heaven”…

    it is as plain as day that Jones gave citizenship in return for donations to the Labour party…the only half arse defence he has is there is no evidence that he personally benefited…

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  11. Scott Chris (6,133 comments) says:

    Let’s recap shall we:

    What the judge is quoted as saying in the article is:

    I step back now and look at the evidence as a whole. Overall, it proves a situation that is highly suspicious. An adult male obtains two passports in different names and with different dates of birth. He uses them both to access Australia and the United States of America. He uses one of them to access New Zealand. He does not disclose his dual identities. New Zealand immigration documents are filled in and in some cases signed on his behalf. Four of the five are false in that they assert that there is no other identity. Regardless of the validity of the passports, this proven situation is highly suspicious. But to move from highly suspicious to proof beyond reasonable doubt of dishonest intention, more is required.

    At no point does he say that the way in which Yan was granted citizenship was highly suspicious. What he is saying is that Yan having multiple identities/passports was suspicious. Having documents filled out and signed on your behalf is commonplace when citizenship is processed via an agency.

    Simple really.

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  12. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    “Justice Brewer is saying – in his totally correct “Auckland Club” way – “this matter stinks to high heaven”…”

    But he’s not looking at the decision to grant citizenship … he’s saying the actions of Mr Yan in giving information as a part of that application process stunk to high heaven.

    None of which changes the fact that Jones’ decision ALSO stank to high heaven – it’s just that this judgment doesn’t have the meaning you’re saying it does.

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  13. David Garrett (7,270 comments) says:

    You ever had a practising certificate Geddis?

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  14. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    @SC

    you’re having to jump through some hoops to come to that conclusion.

    He makes it clear that the situation ie the whole thing is highly, suspicious and that he could not take it to proof.

    That’s pretty much saying” I reckon it he did it but they didn’t prove it”.

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  15. david (2,557 comments) says:

    AG – Angels, pinheads. Jeez you legal types with trying to find ways of restricting the obvious, its worse than the Standard contributors who have nothing better to do than pick words apart. “Oh your honour, it is all a matter of semantics” .BULLSHIT – Its the vibe, idiot.

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  16. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    “What the judge is quoted as saying… ”

    Actually, the Judge wrote it himself – you would see if for yourself if you read the Judgement [91].

    Simple, really.

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  17. Scott Chris (6,133 comments) says:

    you’re having to jump through some hoops to come to that conclusion.

    Not at all. I don’t deny that Shane Jones’ decision to grant Yan citizenship is highly questionable at best but the judge isn’t referring in any way to that decision.

    Incidentally, as a teenager my family and I were granted permanent residence in New Zealand and Ozzie Malcolm acted as our agent. I didn’t sign a thing or fill out any forms. That was done on our behalf.

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  18. Scott Chris (6,133 comments) says:

    Elaycee I just requoted most of judgement 91 in my 6.58 post. The remaining couple of sentences merely reinforces what I asserted.

    Now be a big girl and admit you didn’t read it properly.

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  19. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    @David Garrett: Have you got yours back yet? Gotten much use out of it?

    If you still remember what a lawyer does, you could read the judgment and take note of the point at para. 27 where Brewer J states: “This case has attracted a certain amount of media interest. It has concentrated on the political support which it is alleged the accused received and which was, it is said, instrumental in him eventually obtaining New Zealand citizenship under the name of Mr Yan. That has nothing whatsoever to do with the decisions which I must reach and I put it entirely to one side.”

    But feel free to keep on reading whatever you like into the judgment. I’m sure it’s as close to the law as you get these days.

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  20. Joseph Carpenter (214 comments) says:

    Question: don’t the citizenship application forms require you to sign off at the end as a statutory declaration (even if filled out by another) that the information given is true and correct like EVERY other government application form? If so isn’t this a “strict liability” offence and intention/mens rea and “beyond a reasonable doubt” is totally irrelevant? And if it isn’t a declaration why the fuck isn’t it when every thing else is right down to registering and licencing a fucking 0.5hp moped? Is it just more absolute and total incompetence on behalf of our government?

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  21. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    Can someone explain to me how having two different passports in two different names with different dates of birth can have an honest explanation?

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  22. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Well the way I read Justice Timothy Brewer’ reasons for verdict all I hear him saying is; The crown have laid the wrong charges.

    The AG has the next move so it might pay to keep the popcorn handy. I don’t what I’ more excited about; the prospect that Jones might stand in court for his part in the highly suspicious matter OR that it might happen before the next election……

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  23. Chuck Bird (4,880 comments) says:

    Andrew, have you ever worked as a lawyer in private practice?

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  24. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    “Now be a big girl and admit you didn’t read it properly.” “The remaining couple of sentences merely reinforces what I asserted.”

    Bwahahahaaaaaaaaa… Comprehension not your strong point either, Cwissy? Along with your self confessed appalling driving habits, your reputation as the blog narc and amongst other things, a propensity to talk crap.

    Not a lot going for you, is there?

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  25. calendar girl (1,232 comments) says:

    SC: ” … as a teenager my family and I were granted permanent residence in New Zealand …” From the UK? Which part?

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  26. Scott Chris (6,133 comments) says:

    Calendar Girl my parents are Poms from Surrey and Kent but I grew up in Bangkok – although I did attend English boarding school before we emigrated here.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    As for Garret and Bird’s inane questioning of Geddis – STFU. We’re lucky to get expert commentary on this blogsite in spite of people like you.

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  27. Roflcopter (463 comments) says:

    If the application for citizenship is highly suspicious, then everything after that becomes equally so.

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  28. Nookin (3,341 comments) says:

    I have to go along with Scott Chris and AG on this one. The total focus of Brewer’s judgment is on the actions of Liu. The question is whether he committed criminal offences in presenting an application containing deliberate falsehoods.

    The offences, had they been proven, would have been committed regardless of whether residency or citizenship was granted.

    The focus is on the accuracy of the documents, the state of mind (knowledge of falsehood) of Liu and his purpose (securing residency and then citizenship). Jones does not even have to come into the picture for these offences to be proved.

    Essentially, the Crown is arguing that he set out to dupe the decision maker – deliberately and dishonestly so.

    The heat will come on Jones if it becomes apparent that Jones had the same information that Brewer J had – i.e. a situation which, on the face of it, was highly suspicious – and did absolutely nothing about it.

    I do not know how much information was given to Jones when making the decision. One has to expect that the immigration office would have provided sufficient factual background to justify its own conclusion. Now that the focus is on Jones, we can concentrate on what he had, should have had and should have done about it. Those issues were no part of Brewer’s judgment.

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  29. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Geez, the Rabid Right are out in full force trying to pin non-existent crap on Shane Jones, all because he had the temerity to go against official advice.

    And in breaking news, it’s been revealed that 4 pre-sentencing reports on the Urewera 4 recommended that a non-custodial sentence be imposed. Hmmm where is the debate regarding Justice Hansen’s decision to go against that advice?

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  30. lastmanstanding (1,293 comments) says:

    I note the Chinaman had another person fill out his application forms. Very convenient dont you think. So his brief could always claim. “But your Honour it was merely a case of mis speaking between my client and the and the person who filled out the forms on his behalf. A mistake. Thats all it was your Honour”

    Ahh! the cunningness of the Chinamen know no bounds and are vastly superior to the somewhat trusting and naive NZ Judicary who take all at face value and believe anything and everything. When it suits them.

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  31. hj (6,991 comments) says:

    “The total focus of Brewer’s judgment is on the actions of Liu”
    bullshit
    it took Shane Jones to get MrDodgy from China his citizenship.

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  32. hj (6,991 comments) says:

    Who got this noddy citizenshit?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xue_family_murder_and_abandonment

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  33. Nookin (3,341 comments) says:

    hj
    Why do not you just read the decision. If it is any help, have a look at AG’s post at 8 p.m. on 31 May where he quotes the Judge as saying, quite expressly, that the political support for the applicant was wholly irrelevant.
    You are confusing the ambit of the Court’s enquiry in the Liu case with the enquiry that the Auditor General is going to undertake. This particular thread is about the court decision. Liu was prosecuted for the using false documents for the purposes of securing residency and citizenship. Jones does not come into the picture at any stage in the proceedings before Brewer J. His name is not mentioned anywhere. The offences, had they been committed, could have been committed before Jones had even been delegated the file. The alleged offences in this case relate solely to the actions of one man, what he did, whether he acted dishonestly and what is purpose was. Had the charges been proved, they would have been approved regardless of whether the minister saw through the charade or was duped by the charade.

    It may well be that it took Jones to approve the decision, contrary to INZ advice, and it may well be that no other person acting as a minister, looking at the facts objectively without taking into account other criteria (donations) would have given Liu the boot at a glance. The point is that this decision-making process was not before the court and was wholly irrelevant to the Court’s decision.
    The court did not implicate Jones. The court did not exonerate Jones. The court did not even look at Jones. The auditor general will.

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