24 Aug 2022

Karel Sroubek suffers setback in appeal against deportation

4:17 pm on 24 August 2022

Convicted drug smuggler Karel Šroubek has lost one stage of an appeal against the government's attempt to deport him.

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Photo: Carmen Bird Photography

In a just released decision, the Immigration and Protection tribunal ruled the former world kickboxing champion hadn't successfully argued his case.

The tribunal says it will now hear and determine the next stage of the appeal - on humanitarian grounds.

Šroubek arrived from the Czech Republic 19 years ago using another person's passport, and he was wanted by Czech authorities as he had not served a four-and-a-half-year jail term.

Interpol said he was wanted for disorderly conduct, damaging of another's property, and attacking a law enforcement officer.

His case hit the headlines in 2018 when he was granted the right to stay by then Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.

Šroubek faced deportation for a drug conviction and holding a visa in a false identity, but was instead granted residence a second time - this time in his own name - by Lees-Galloway, who decided to deport him after a public outcry and government review.

He was earlier cleared of charges of kidnapping and aggravated robbery and was discharged without conviction on immigration offences. Another conviction was quashed on appeal, but he served four-and-a-half years of his jail sentence for importing almost 5kg of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy. He was paroled in 2020.

Appeals were filed against the deportation liability notice - which claimed Šroubek was an excluded person whose visas were granted as a result of administrative error.

Šroubek previously told the Parole Board that he still feared for his safety if he was deported to his country of birth, where he claims he witnessed a murder.