24 May 2012

Yan acquitted on immigration charges

8:31 pm on 24 May 2012

A Chinese businessman accused of a high profile immigration fraud has been acquitted on all the charges.

Yan Yong Ming, who is also known by other names, had been on trial in the High Court at Auckland on five charges of fraud including lying to gain citizenship.

The accusations related to applications made by Mr Yan for visitor and residency visas in 2002 and citizenship in 2005.

The judge on Friday returned verdicts of not guilty on all five charges.

On Thursday, Justice Brewer said the most the prosecution could achieve was to raise a high level of suspicion.

The Crown had alleged Mr Yan was dishonest in his applications, but the judge said the Crown had not proven its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Justice Brewer said the issues before the court, and his verdicts, had nothing to do with the controversy surrounding Mr Yan's dealings with politicians before he gained citizenship.

Reasons for the decision have been reserved.

Mr Yan's supporter, former Labour MP Dover Samuels, says people within the Security and Intelligence Service or Immigration Service had a political or personal agenda against Mr Yan.

He says Mr Yan should consider suing them, and at least deserves an apology.

A spokesperson for the Immigration Service says it is not appropriate to comment, and the Security and Intelligence Service had not responded to calls by Radio New Zealand News by 5pm on Thursday.