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HomeNew ZealandKarel Sroubek files for judicial review after losing appeal against deportation

Karel Sroubek files for judicial review after losing appeal against deportation

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Karel Sroubek
Photo: Carmen Bird Photography

Convicted drug dealer Karel Sroubek has launched a legal challenge after losing his last appeal against deportation.

The former kickboxer has been battling against being sent back to the Czech Republic since 2018.

In December, an appeals tribunal gave him until next month to leave the country, but he has since filed an application for judicial review in the High Court at Auckland.

It has been more than 20 years since Sroubek used an alias and forged passport of fellow kickboxer Jan Antolik to enter New Zealand.

He was jailed over importing drugs but granted residence by then Minister of Immigration Iain Lees-Galloway before a public outcry led to deportation proceedings.

Sroubek was granted residence in 2008 – a year before Czech police made contact about his outstanding 54-month jail sentence for assaulting two police officers and a taxi driver, and a warrant for his arrest for assault in a murder case.

He is now a gym trainer, teaching classes in kickboxing, hot boxing and yoga, and developing an app for personal trainers.

The immigration and protection tribunal ruled against him in two appeals last year.

It noted he had spent most of his adult life in New Zealand but said his “long history of deception and criminal behaviour” meant his deportation was in the public interest.

Timeline of Sroubek

  • June and October 1999: Attacks against police officers and taxi driver, for which he was convicted and sentenced to 54 months prison
  • 7 September 2003: Murder of Vladimir Domacka
  • 16 September 2003 and 29 November 2003: Arrives visa free on Jan Antolik passport; granted three-month visitor’s permit at border, travels in and out as visitor
  • 15 April 2005: Applies for work permit and visa under the Work to Residence, Talent – Sports Category
  • 5 November 2007: Residence application under Residence from Work, Talent – Sports Category, under Antolik identity
  • 6 June 2008: Residence approved
  • October 2009: Czech police contact NZ police to advise that Sroubek was living in NZ under the Antolik identity. Interpol notice advises he is wanted in Czech Republic as he had a connection to the murder of Domacka in 2003. (Czech authorities in 2018 have confirmed he is not charged with murder)
  • 16 November 2009: Arrested for offences against the Immigration Act 1987
  • 4 November 2011: Jury finds him guilty of immigration offences
  • February 2012: Discharge without conviction on immigration charges after completing 200 hours community service
  • April 2012: Immigration NZ (INZ) advised of pending charges
  • 2012: Relationship begins with a New Zealand citizen
  • May 2013: Case placed on hold awaiting outcome of pending charges
  • 17 September 2014: Separate drug offending committed (importation of ecstasy)
  • 20 September 2014: Arrested on second lot of drugs charges (importation of ecstasy). Earlier drugs charges did not result in conviction
  • 3 June 2016: Sentenced for importing ecstasy offending
  • 11 December 2017: Court of Appeal dismisses Sroubek’s appeal
  • October 2017, the High Court approves settlement of asset seizure derived directly or indirectly from the proceeds of criminal activity. Sroubek paid $190,000 plus interest.

  • 29 March 2018: INZ writes to Sroubek through his lawyer seeking to comment on deportation liability
  • 19 September 2018: Decision made by minister to grant new resident visa with conditions imposed
  • 28 November 2018: Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway announced Sroubek is liable for deportation when he is released from prison.
  • September 2020: Sroubek released on parole
  • July 2021: Appeal at Immigration and Protection Tribunal adjourned after he changed lawyer, then by Covid-19 lockdown
  • April 2022: First appeal at the IPT
  • December 2022: Decision on second appeal; IPT rules he should be deported by March

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