A High Court judge has rejected a bid to have immigration
charges against a millionaire businessman thrown out.
And in a further boost to the Crown case against William Yan,
also known as Yang Liu and Yong Ming Yan, Justice Timothy
Brewer has ruled that evidence from an Australian
investigator is admissible against him.
Yan is on trial in the High Court at Auckland after pleading
not guilty to four charges relating to false declarations on
immigration papers in 2001 and 2002 and one of using false
written statements to get citizenship.
The wealthy businessman was granted New Zealand citizenship
in August 2008 under the name Yang Liu, despite advice from
Department of Internal Affairs officials that he did not meet
the good character test. Just days later he changed his name
to William Yan, the name he is being prosecuted under.
The department's case officer, Johannes Gambo, told the court
Yan boasted that he had politician friends who would ensure
he was granted citizenship.
When told he would not receive citizenship, Yan said he was
99 per cent sure he would, according to Mr Gambo.
"He said he had a lot of support from members of Parliament
... he was going to take them to China.''
Labour MP Shane Jones, a Cabinet minister at the time,
approved the application a day after receiving the file.
The Crown has concluded the prosecution case against Yan
after two weeks, in a trial which is being heard by a judge
The court has heard that Yan has two passports, with
different names and birth dates, which were not revealed when
he applied for residency.
On Friday, Justice Brewer turned down an application by
defence counsel David Jones, QC, to have four of the five
charges against his client thrown out.
The judge said there was sufficient evidence for Yan to be
found guilty if he looked at the Crown case in "the most
favourable light'', therefore the charges could not be
dismissed and the trial should continue.
But Justice Brewer stressed he had not made a ruling on the
strength of the evidence yet.
He also ruled that the evidence of an Australian immigration
investigator was admissible against Yan, in which the court
heard that Yan's bid for citizenship in Australia
"unravelled'' when his dual identities were discovered.
Earlier in the trial, Mr Jones [lawyer] said Yan was born
with one name and a date of birth which was entered on the
system. He was then fostered out as a child and given a new
Mr Jones said that explained the second identity.
He said the Crown had been relying on a motive for Yan using
a different name in New Zealand because he was facing an
arrest warrant in China.
Mr Jones said there was evidence that "the Communist Party in
China uses the law to prosecute people who are
The trial continues today.
- Jared Savage of the NZ Herald