Liu found not guilty

May 24th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A millionaire businessman at the centre of a political scandal has been found not guilty of immigration fraud charges.

William Yan – also known as and Yong Ming Yan – pleaded not guilty to four charges relating to false declarations on immigration papers in 2001 and 2002 and one of using false written statements to get citizenship.

He was found not guilty on all five charges against him in the High Court in Auckland this morning. …

Justice Timothy Brewer said the case had nothing to do with political connections and commentary.

His decision was based on the evidence in court about whether false declarations had been made on documents.

He said he found that the Crown had not reached the level of proof of beyond reasonable doubt which the judge said was a very high standard.

The court case, as I said before, was on whether Liu lied on his immigration forms. The issue with is whether he granted Liu citizenship against official advice because Liu had donated to various parties and MPs. His explanation that Liu faced execution because he was Falun Gong is very dubious when you consider:

  • The decision was about being a citizen vs a┬ápermanent┬áresident, not about staying in the country
  • Falun Gong are strictly banned from gambling, Liu spent over $10m at Sky City
  • There is no written record of the advice Jones claims he was given by an official he seems unable to name

I’ll comment tomorrow on the request for the to investigate. The way the request has been worded is incredibly narrow. Any investigation should be full and robust. I’ll try and blog tomorrow what, at a minimum, an inquiry should look at.

The danger for the Auditor-General is that things could be a repeat of the Ingram Inquiry into Taito Philip Field. Helen Clark set very narrow terms of reference, related to Field’s ministerial role only. Ingram actually did a superb job with his inquiry, but due to his terms of reference found no breach by Field in terms of his ministerial role. As people know, the Police later charged Field and he was convicted of corruption and bribery. Ingram’s report was unfairly seen as a whitewash, because the terms of reference were so narrow.

The essence of the allegations against Jones is that he was influenced by MPs (principally Dover Samuels) to grant citizenship despite the lack of good character, and that part of the motivation for this was because Liu had donated to various MPs and parties. Now it is difficult to see how one can investigate this, unless you can access the donor records of the various political parties. And I am unsure that the Auditor-General has any power over political parties.

Hence I think a full inquiry with powers to compel witnesses and material would be the best way forward, if Shearer and the PM could agree on terms of reference. In the absence of such an inquiry an investigation by the Auditor-General is better than nothing happening – but the terms of reference need to be as wide as possible to ensure it is not a repeat if the Ingram Inquiry.

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13 Responses to “Liu found not guilty”

  1. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    >There is no written record of the advice Jones claims he was given

    Is that unusual? I don’t know about Internal Affairs but record-keeping at the Justice Ministry is shockingly bad. Besides, would you trust Internal Affairs after its claim that Jones had the file for one day and then approved citizenship? It seems he had the file for about 3 weeks.

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  2. m@tt (637 comments) says:

    They could always apply Key’s standard and get a staffer to ask Shane if he’s been a naughty boy. A yes or no answer will suffice.

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  3. lastmanstanding (1,310 comments) says:

    TORs are almost always set with the desired outcome in mind in my humble experience. You work out the answer you want and then write the TORs so the investigator can only investigate matters contained within the TOR.

    A robust and rigorous TOR will contain the words ” all and any matters pertaining or relating to the matter in any way”

    Alas you very rarely see these words in TORs.

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  4. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Has he bought the judges too?

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  5. George Patton (352 comments) says:

    Don’t forget, he also has the alias “Ching Chong Ming” according to Shane Jones.

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  6. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    Lucky for Jones Liu got off.

    Hell hath no fury like a donor scorned.

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  7. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this kind of thing is just the tip of the iceberg. NZ Police and immigration have a lot of difficulty with Chinese names..especially as many Chinese change the order of their names to fit in here and also that China has made its citizens westernize their names into two instead of three names..Previously the order was surname , generation name , christian or personal name. Chinese from other places still keep the three names..
    I would say Jones has dodged a bullet.

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  8. cha (4,144 comments) says:

    The people at the top are having a bob each way Joana.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/21/opinion/in-china-fear-at-the-top.html?_r=1

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  9. hj (7,184 comments) says:

    “Criminals are using shell companies set up under New Zealand’s lax company laws to launder money.

    Companies created by an Auckland firm operating out of Queen St have been linked to Russian crime, a Mexican drug cartel and Romanian extortion.

    A 16-month Fairfax Media investigation has also tied companies created by Geoffrey Taylor and his sons Ian and Michael, who work out of 363 Queen St, to a company that smuggled arms out of North Korea.

    The government admits there is a problem but says it has had other priorities. ”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5069771/NZ-firms-linked-to-money-laundering

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  10. hj (7,184 comments) says:

    New Zealand removed from EU ‘white list’
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/6938888/New-Zealand-removed-from-EU-white-list

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  11. hj (7,184 comments) says:

    “Electoral Commission figures released today show the National Party received $192,415 in anonymous donations during the election year.

    The only other political party to receive “donations protected from disclosure” last year was the Act Party, which got $61,730 out of a total $1.28m in donations.

    The identity of all donors to political parties over $15,000 must be disclosed in annual returns.

    National has disclosed $702,916 from those donors.

    The largest of those named donors was Susan Chou, who gave $100,000 in June last year.

    Chou, who was linked to the failed bid of Natural Dairy Holdings for the Crafar Farms, has paid large sums to National in the past. ”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6846934/Anonymous-donations-to-National-nearly-200k

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  12. hj (7,184 comments) says:

    “The People’s Republic of China suffers from widespread corruption. For 2010, China was ranked 78 of 179 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, ranking slightly above fellow BRIC nations India and Russia, but below Brazil and most developed countries. Means of corruption include graft, bribery, embezzlement, backdoor deals, nepotism, patronage, and statistical falsification.[1] It is nearly impossible to conduct significant business in China without participating in corruption.[2]”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China

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  13. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Interesting article Cha..years back there was a popular paperback about all the Chinese and their wealth around the Pacific rim. I have personally but indirectly had dealings with a triad set up in Wgtn many years ago. The Chinese man who was framed has never had his name cleared. My friend who tried to help him , died prematurely , most likely from all the stress. Her home was broken into 17 times before she was forced to sell up..Even now , many naive NZers would not believe this. It has always been triad form to have judges , lawyers , cops , pollies in their pocket….
    Great posts Hj.

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