The Herald reports:
She said the main issue for her now was figuring out why important information about Sroubek was not put in front of the minister in the first place.
Speaking to Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking, Ardern was quick to absolve the blame from the officials who provided Lees-Galloway with information about Sroubek.
“Before anyone jumps down the track of saying ‘I’m blaming officials here,’ I’m not. There seems to be a range of things at play here, we need to get this decision right.”
Ardern also defended Lees-Galloway and said on Friday that the minister had to rely on the information put in front of him.
First of all even on the information in front of him, it was an obvious case for deportation, not residency. He was a convicted drug dealer in prison. He had numerous runs in with the law, and entered NZ with a fake identity.
The burden of proof is with him to make an overwhelming case for why he should stay. It seems all he did was claim he feared for his life, and the Minister took his word for it, without any proof.
A smart Minister would have asked questions such as whether it was credible that a member of the EU would really have such corruption that someone couldn’t be deported there safely.
She was also publicly critical of the process for the first time.
“He had certain information in front of him. Now we have contradictory information in the public domain. Of course that’s not good enough.”
Last week, Lees-Galloway told Parliament he would be reviewing Sroubek’s case after “new information” had been made available to him.
In the subsequent days, a High Court judgment revealed that Sroubek had been back to Europe in 2009, undercutting any belief that his life might be in danger if he was deported.
Lees-Galloway said this week he was not aware of the court judgment and said it was not standard practice to have all court decisions relating to Sroubek handed to him.
Even without that information, he should not have been given residency. Let’s try this with numbers. Let’s say you need to score 8/10 to make the case to stay. His case was a 2/10 at best on the information known to the Minister. The additional information makes it a 1/10. The PM thinks what is important is the info not given to the Minister. What is important is the Minister was so gullible he handed out residency on the basis of an improbable sob story.