TODAY |

Czech drug smuggler Karel Sroubek in front of parole board next month

Convicted Czech drug smuggler Karel Sroubek could shortly be released from prison, with a parole board hearing set for next month. 

He is set to be deported once released from prison, but it would not happen straight away. 

On September 16, Sroubek will appear before the parole board. He is currently serving five years and nine months - set to end in 2022 - for importing five kilograms of ecstasy. 

Sroubek has lodged an appeal with the Immigration and Protection Tribunal and he is unable to be deported during that process. 

The Tribunal told 1 NEWS the matter "has not been set down for hearing yet, it may be some time before this matter is scheduled". 

Your playlist will load after this ad

The National Party released parts of the phone conversation to media today. Source: 1 NEWS

Sroubek and his lawyer would not comment until after the parole hearing. 

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway initially granted Sroubek residency based on information that his life would be in danger if he was deported. 

However, he later learned Sroubek had travelled back to Czech Republic on a different passport.

Mr Lees-Galloway apologised to the Prime Minister for the saga and subsequently over-rode his earlier decision after an Immigration New Zealand investigation.

He also would not comment before the hearing. 

Today, National's Mark Mitchell criticised the way the situation was handled, saying "we are still scratching our heads" over the initial residency decision. 

Your playlist will load after this ad

“I’m not going to run away from this,” Iain Lees-Galloway tells Breakfast of the controversial Karel Sroubek case. Source: Breakfast

Background

Immigration New Zealand launched an investigation on November 1, 2018, into the residency application of Sroubek.

Mr Lees-Galloway told media at the time he received new information that contradicted that which he used to make his decision to grant residency to Sroubek.

On November 28, 2018, Sroubek was found to be liable for deportation after a review by Immigration NZ.

Mr Lees-Galloway announced the findings, saying "as a result of that review, Immigration determined that Mr Sroubek may be liable for deportation on grounds that I had not previously considered".

He said there was some information INZ compiled that was not available to him when he made his original decision.

Your playlist will load after this ad

If he is released from prison, he won't be deported straight away. Source: 1 NEWS