‘Privacy is critical’: Winston Peters backs decision on Czech criminal’s residency

Morning Talk 30/10/2018
Photo: AAP.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has voiced his support over the decision to grant residency to a convicted criminal.

Mr Peters told RadioLIVE that criticism over Minister Iain Lees-Galloway's decision is unjustified because people don't know the details of the case.

"How can you say [other people are] more deserving if you don't know the facts of the case you're comparing it against?" Mr Peters said, responding to claims others are more deserving of New Zealand residency.

Convicted drug dealer Karel Sroubek was granted residency despite coming to New Zealand on a false passport and now serving time for smuggling MDMA.

It's understood that Sroubek, who now goes by Jan Antolik, fled to New Zealand after being threatened by corrupt Czech police, and his life could be in danger if he returned home.

But the decision was not without controversy, with National leader Simon Bridges and The AM Show’s Duncan Garner coming in full swing of the lack of transparency over the case.

"That's a man who needs to be sent home to face his own music and this should not be our problem,” Garner said on The AM Show on Tuesday.

Mr Peters pointed to the minister's right to make decisions with "absolute discretion", which means he does not have to provide a reason for the decisions he makes.

The deputy PM told RadioLIVE that he’s satisfied with the minister's conclusion after reviewing the case.

"There is an enormous amount of precedent for a minister to make a decision like this, and one of the things that is bound with the decision is the privacy issue, because it goes to the very safety of the people involved," said Mr Peters.

"Do I like it? No, I don't. Do I understand it? In the circumstances, yes I do."

Listen to the full interview with Winston Peters above.

Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, 9am - 12pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.