The Prime Minister needs to tell the public whether she backs Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters’ attempt to discredit the real concerns of Karel Sroubek’s ex-wife by dismissing her as a political informant, National Party Justice spokesperson Mark Mitchell says.
National can also reveal that an Immigration official turned up at Mr Sroubek’s estranged wife’s house in spite of her being the subject of a Police safety plan meaning her address was restricted information.
“Rather than front up to a bad decision to let a convicted criminal remain in New Zealand, Mr Peters went on the attack while answering questions on behalf of the Prime Minister last week, trying to discredit the concerns by saying Mr Sroubek’s estranged-wife was a ‘National Party informant’. He continued to play the fool today.
“She’s not. She is a victim who is the subject of a Police safety plan. She was was directly affected by a bad decision, fears for her safety and has been repeatedly let down by the Government. But the Deputy Prime Minister attacked her anyway.
“Now her family has even greater fears for her safety, saying Mr Peters has ‘placed a fair and square target on the back… of a vulnerable young woman already dealing with enough challenges under the circumstances’.
“That the Government would attack the motives of a victim raising real concerns in order to try and take the heat off itself is appalling.
“Yes, she made a submission in Mr Sroubek’s support, but she says this was made under duress. She doesn’t want him to stay and has changed both her phone number and address, because of what she says are threats to her safety.
“The unwelcome visit by Immigration to discuss her statement, a visit she later received an apology for, makes the situation worse.
“Seeking help, her initial approach was also to a former Labour Minister. She was referred to the Opposition because the Government had let her down and she had nowhere else to go. We took up the issue because this is a bad decision that put her and the public at risk.
“The family of Mr Sroubek’s ex-wife have rightly had enough. They say Mr Peters has caused immense stress ‘and a feeling of utter hopelessness’.
“The Prime Minister needs to tell New Zealanders whether she thinks her deputy’s actions were acceptable. They were not and National will remain on the side of victims and continue to fight against this bad decision.”