Michael Field reports at Stuff:
A millionaire naturalised Chinese New Zealander who used senior political connections to win citizenship has gone on trial in the High Court, Auckland, today on five charges linked to claims he created a false identity.
In a case that has been before the court for nearly two years, Yong Ming Yan, 41, has pleaded not guilty to five charges over claims he created a false identity in China to get citizenship.
Justice Timothy Brewer is hearing the case without a jury.
Originally Yan was charged with 12 offences but these, the court heard, had been reduced due to issues with evidence from China.
He got citizenship with letters of support and lobbying from Labour’s Dover Samuels and Chris Carter as well as National’s Pansy Wong.
The Department of Internal Affairs opposed citizenship saying with two passports, two names and two birth dates they did not know who he was. Then Immigration Minister David Cunliffe over-ruled and granted citizenship.
I might be wrong but I thought it was Shane Jones who granted the citizenship, not Cunliffe. It was an Internal Affairs issue.
What we have never ever heard is why Jones ignored official advice to grant citizenship to someone whom he knew was facing criminal charges overseas and had multiple identities. Samuels, Carter and Wong did not know of this when they advocated for him so I don’t see a major issue there. But Shane Jones did know and granted him citizenship, with Samuels presenting it to him in the Labour Caucus Room.