The estranged wife of Czech man Karel Sroubek has become a political football, as the Government accuses the National Party of over-stating threats to her safety and using her for cheap political points.
But National is standing by its claim that she has real safety concerns, and that those fears have been exacerbated by the Government.
This week during Question Time, National’s justice spokesman Mark Mitchell has demanded to know why Immigration NZ officials turned up to her house that was part of a “police safety plan” to “pressure her” into taking part in Immigration NZ’s review of the Sroubek case.
Mitchell, who has a letter from the estranged wife giving him permission to speak for her, said the visit amounted to “bullying behaviour from the state”, and that police should never have told Immigration NZ where she lived because she was in a police safety plan.
Police Minister Stuart Nash even said that police should not divulge that information to anyone in order to protect her safety.
But Nash then sought assurances from police about their behaviour, and said today that police had not divulged any information to Immigration NZ about the address of Sroubek’s estranged wife.
Immigration NZ confirmed that they already knew where she was and police did not provide the information.
“Further, I was advised the address where she lives is not a police safe house, but that police have contacted her several times to verify what assistance she needs or what complaints she wishes to make,” Nash said.
“The story being put about by Mark Mitchell is not correct.”
But during Question Time today and speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said that police had offered protection to her on three occasions – but she had declined.
He said the National Party was chiefly responsible for compromising her safety by referencing her in 23 oral questions and 56 public statements.
“In short, you’ve got someone who – for political purposes, venal political purposes at that – is being used as a trump by Opposition members. If protection and secrecy and privacy are called to this issue, then the National Party has been a major offender.”
…what? National would use personal circumstances and manipulate those for political gain?
Surely a political Party who hid harassment claims and then weaponised them against one of their own and then had a hand in having that person sectioned under the mental health act would have such rigorous ethical standards that they would never manipulate personal circumstances for political gain.