The Herald reports:
Yong Ming Yan – also known as Bill Liu, Yang 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, Shane Jones.
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.