Not guilty decision in Yong Ming Yan Case
Chinese millionaire Yong Ming Yan has been found not guilty of the citizenship fraud charges he was facing.
In a reserved decision released at the High Court at Auckland this morning Justice Timothy Brewer said Yan was not guilty on four counts of fraudulently using documents to gain access to New Zealand and one count of making a false statement.
Justice Brewer said none of the five charges was proven to an adequate standard.
He said the Crown was required to reach a high level of proof beyond reasonable doubt.
"In this case, having considered the evidence and the submissions of consul and the inferences I feel I am entitled to draw from the evidence, I have concluded that the most the Crown can achieve is a high level of suspicion but that is not enough," he told Yan.
"The Crown has not proved its case on any of counts inter-related as they are beyond reasonable doubt."
In court supporting Yan was former Labour MP Dover Samuels, who outside court told reporters there should be an apology.
He added: "It was all a stitch-up by ministry officials and the SIS [Security Intelligence Service]".
Yan left court without comment.
During his trial, immigration officials alleged Yan had been granted New Zealand citizenship because of apparent political connections.
Yan, also known as Bill Liu, told officials he had "lots of backing from MPs", the court was told.
The court was told Yan's file was forwarded to Parliament where it moved with unprecedented speed and Yan was sworn in as a citizen within a day of then-Cabinet minister Shane Jones approving his citizenship.
Jones yesterday stood aside from his roles as Labour's front-bench spokesman on regional development, fisheries and Maori economic development after Labour Leader David Shearer asked Auditor-General Lyn Provost to investigate why he controversially granted citizenship to Yan.