Convicted drug smuggler Karel Sroubek claims a property dispute with his former wife over a $2.4 million Remuera home is behind her claims she is at risk.

He says the National Party has been drawn into the collapse of a marriage and is being fed false claims about her safety.

In a letter to the New Zealand Herald, Sroubek has asked the public to be "fair" and wait for the legal process to complete.

"It is the Kiwi way," he wrote.

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Sroubek is in prison and facing deportation after Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway flipped on his original decision to grant New Zealand residency.

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The dramatic about-face followed political barracking including claims from Opposition justice spokesman Mark Mitchell that Sroubek's ex-wife had been pressured to support his residency and was afraid for her life.

Sroubek came to New Zealand from the Czech Republic in September 2003 as Jan Antolik, saying he fled corrupt police wanting him to clear the main suspect in a murder investigation.

He was convicted in 2011 of using the false passport - and then convicted and jailed in 2016 for being involved in the importation of 5kg of MDMA.

Sroubek said his former wife, who he did not name, had emerged attacking him after he had filed a caveat on a home in which they had lived in Remuera.

"At the centre of this saga is a marital dispute that has become viciously politicised."

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway, with Immigration NZ boss Greg Patchell, at the press conference to U-turn on Karel Sroubek's residency. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway, with Immigration NZ boss Greg Patchell, at the press conference to U-turn on Karel Sroubek's residency. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Sroubek said the September 19 decision to grant residency showed Lees-Galloway had "acknowledged the threat to my life back in the Czech Republic".

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"I couldn't have been more grateful for this show of humanity."

Sroubek said his "elation was short-lived" as his ex-wife began the process of "selling our marital home and the business I had created 10 years ago".

He said he wanted to ensure the money he had put into the house and business were protected so took a legal order - a caveat - to secure his rights to the proceeds.

"I could never have imagined how this simple step could have blown up in my face."

The caveat was placed on October 26 and the news about Sroubek getting residency broke two days later. It led to what Sroubek called "false claims" under Parliamentary privilege about his wife's safety from the National Party.

"All I can say about this to New Zealand is that you need to follow the facts. They do not support any suggestion that I have threatened my ex-wife or, ludicrously, burgled my house.

"I take this chance to place on the record that my wife has never been threatened or is under threat from me. I have never had any complaints of violence made against me by anyone."

He said his former wife was already in a new relationship with underwear manufacturer Mark Davey when she wrote a reference supporting his bid for residency.

"It wasn't made under any duress and there were absolutely no threats."

Sroubek said Mitchell had failed to appreciate his former wife was a partner in the business which was used to import the MDMA drug.

"He calls me a 'gangster' but, ironically, blindly (and conveniently) defends my business partner."

It was the same company he said he used to assist her in gaining residency after she found she didn't qualify in her previous job.

He called it a "double standard" saying she "now manipulates the situation to expel me from the country I supported her gaining residency in".

Mitchell said he had information about the case from a range of former public officials and was confident of his claims.

The false passport bearing the assumed name Karel Sroubek used to come to New Zealand. Photo / Supplied
The false passport bearing the assumed name Karel Sroubek used to come to New Zealand. Photo / Supplied

He said Sroubek's former wife "came forward when she was sure he would be deported".

Mitchell conceded he had not spoken to her directly but information was passed through an intermediary.

"She is genuinely scared of the guy. He's a nasty piece of work."

Attempts to contact Sroubek's ex-wife for comment have been unsuccessful. The NZ Herald has chosen not to name her.

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE NZ PUBLIC - KAREL SROUBEK

By Karel Sroubek

I pen this note from the Auckland South Corrections Facility (ASCF) where I have been incarcerated since April 2016 for 'knowledge of importing MDMA.' From this position, I don't expect a sympathetic ear ... but it would be good if any opinion you have for my situation was at least mildly balanced by some facts as opposed to political cheap shots.

We all have regrets and as I sit here I have an overwhelming sadness that I have flouted the privilege New Zealand extended me when you granted me my residency in 2008. I am paying the price where I sit today and I blame no one but myself.

At the centre of this saga is a marital dispute that has become viciously politicised.

Being Russian, my wife and I had many things in common. She was a teller in a bank facing having to leave New Zealand as her occupation didn't qualify her for residency. I offered her a management position in my company that resulted in her qualifying and gaining her residency so the double standard is now out there for everyone to see as she now manipulates the situation to expel me from the country I supported her gaining residency in.

In the full knowledge of my possible prosecution we proceeded with our wedding but after two years my wife found a new partner – a well-connected aspiring local body politician, Mark Davey. This however did not deter her from offering a supportive reference at my parole hearing in March this year. It wasn't made under any duress and there were absolutely no threats.

National's Mark Mitchell leading the attack on the government over the residency decision. Photo / Mark Mitchell
National's Mark Mitchell leading the attack on the government over the residency decision. Photo / Mark Mitchell

In his rush to protect the rights of my ex-wife, Minister Mitchell may also like to consider her role in my business. We are joint owners of a business that has led to my conviction. He calls me a 'gangster' but, ironically, blindly (and conveniently) defends my business partner.

I am a minimum-security prisoner which means I qualify for no rehabilitative programs in prison so we were hopeful of a successful parole hearing in March but unfortunately, I was unsuccessful and stood down for six months.

Hanging over my next parole hearing in September was the pending decision of the Immigration Minister whether or not to grant me the right to stay in New Zealand after I had served my sentence. As this decision hadn't been made at the time of my hearing I was stood down again, this time for 12 months. Two days after being stood down I received, on 19 September, the Ministers decision to grant me the right to remain in New Zealand. Obviously, he had placed a lot of weight on the 2011 decision of Judge Roy Wade who had balanced the evidence before him and acknowledged the threat to my life back in the Czech Republic.

I couldn't have been more grateful for this show of humanity.

This elation was short lived as my now ex-wife went about selling our marital home and the business I had created 10 Years ago.

As much as I wanted to trust her I was urged to formalise my rights so placed a caveat – not to prevent any sale, but to ensure that my interest was registered. I could never have imagined how this simple step could have blown up in my face.

Within days of placing the caveat the story about the Ministers decision to permit me to remain in New Zealand was the centre of question time in Parliament ... And has continued for two months. False claims made under the protection of Parliamentary privilege suggest that my wife is under threat and that associates of mine have burgled my now vacant house seem to consume the leadership of the opposition. They go about their mission to supposedly make New Zealand safe again with such a zeal that they even go beyond the rules of Parliament and are evicted from the House.

All I can say about this to New Zealand is that you need to follow the facts. They do not support any suggestion that I have threatened my ex-wife or, ludicrously, burgled my house.

I take this chance to place on the record that my wife has never been threatened or is under threat from me. I have never had any complaints of violence made against me by anyone.

Amongst all of this hype it has been forgotten that earlier judgments accepted that my life back in the Czech Republic was at risk. I would encourage Minister Mitchell who seems to be leading this diversionary campaign to talk to former Czech politician Hana Marvanova or Chief Prosecutor Pavel Zeman about the extent of corruption within the police and judicial systems in the Czech Republic. As recently as January this year the Czech Prime Minister acknowledged in his Parliament the extent of corruption that he described as "normal practice."

There is a process that I am going through at the moment and I ask that we let this process play out. It is the Kiwi way. It is the fair way and that's all I ask for.