Karel Sroubek's lawyer says new "11th-hour information" that came to the Immigration Minister's attention this afternoon is an unusual turn of events.

In the House this afternoon, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said: "Information may exist that directly contradicts information that I relied upon in making the decision relating to Karel Sroubek."

Sroubek is believed to have returned to the Czech Republic since arriving in New Zealand in 2003, which would challenge any notion that his life might be at risk if he were deported.

Simon Laurent, who acted as a lawyer for Karel Sroubek, said if it was proved definitively that Sroubek had returned to the Czech Republic that would be "quite problematic".

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Laurent represented Sroubek in the application for the cancellation of his deportation.
He said it was unusual that the Minister had received some "11th-hour information" as Sroubek's case had been before Immigration New Zealand for a number of years.

"I would have thought that would have been the sort of thing Immigration NZ would have canvassed quite carefully," he told Newstalk ZB.

"If [Sroubek] had returned to the Czech Republic, it could be quite problematic and could raise an issue."

In terms of Lees-Galloway reopening Sroubek's case, Laurent said he would need to be able to show the information he received was incomplete.

"If he had been back to the Czech Republic, and that could be established beyond a doubt – then it would undermine the case for the Minister."

Lees-Galloway has not provided a reason for granting Sroubek residency – but Judge Roy Wade, who discharged without conviction after being found guilty of using a false passport in 2011, argued Sroubek would be in danger from corrupt Czech authorities if he were deported.

The new information, which the minister found out about this afternoon, has prompted National leader Simon Bridges to demand a resignation from a minister he said was "incompetent and naive".

"This is flabbergasting. It shows an incompetent and naive decision by Iain Lees-Galloway," Bridges said.

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"If he's been wrong here, if ultimately this man is to be deported, [Lees-Galloway] hasn't got the judgment and the skills required in terms of keeping New Zealanders safe with these decisions, and he should resign."

Lees-Galloway has been under pressure since it emerged that he granted residency to Sroubek, even though Sroubek was found guilty of using a fake passport and is currently serving a prison term for smuggling MDMA.

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway is seeking urgent advice on new information about Karel Sroubek, who has been granted NZ residency despite criminal convictions. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway is seeking urgent advice on new information about Karel Sroubek, who has been granted NZ residency despite criminal convictions. Photo / Steven McNicholl

Lees-Galloway would not comment on whether the information was about Sroubek traveling back to the Czech Republic.

"Information may exist that directly contradicts information that I relied upon in making the decision relating to Karel Sroubek," he said this afternoon.

"This is not additional information. This is contradictory information. This is a very serious matter. I have to check the veracity of this additional information."

If officials had not fully informed him, Lees-Galloway said he would look at options for further action.

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But Bridges said it was up the minister to ask the hard questions.

"A case is put forward, but it's then for the minister to ask the hard questions. Even a simple Google search would have told Lees-Galloway that the parole board didn't believe this man, a court of appeal didn't believe him.

"He just clearly got the report, signed it, and didn't ask those hard questions. He somehow didn't know that this man ... had been back to the Czech Republic. He wasn't unsafe in that country because he had been back himself."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has backed Lees-Galloway, said that the residency decision was made on the information available at the time.

"If there is information that contradicts that, I imagine the minister would want to seek further advice on that," Ardern said during Question Time.

Sroubek came to New Zealand on a false passport from the Czech Republic in 2003 after fleeing corrupt police.

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He was unmasked in 2009 when Czech police gave New Zealand police details of his identity and an international arrest warrant on minor charges.

Sroubek was discharged without conviction after being found guilty of using a false passport in 2011. Judge Roy Wade said Sroubek would be in danger from corrupt Czech authorities if he were deported.

In 2016, Sroubek was jailed for five years and nine months after being convicted of importing 5kg of MDMA with a street value of $375,000.

He was previously acquitted of committing an aggravated robbery with two members of the Hells Angels.