Radiologist loses citizenship after failing to disclose sex charge in the US
A consultant radiologist who did not disclose that he skipped bail when charged with a sex offence is to lose his New Zealand citizenship.
Robert Taylor was born in India as Max Munish Mehta. He moved to the United States as a young man and got citizenship there.
In 2005 he moved to New Zealand, changed his name and applied for New Zealand citizenship.
But his application did not disclose that he had been arrested for a sex offence in Texas in 2004, and that there was a warrant out for his arrest for "criminal solicitation of a minor to commit sexual assault of a child", which related to alleged online grooming in which the "child" was actually a police officer.
In 2014, authorities here were tipped off about the arrest. By that time, Taylor was living in Australia.
Shortly before his latest challenge to the citizenship issue was heard in court, Taylor was arrested in Auckland, pending an application to extradite him to stand trial in the US.
Taylor maintained, and the Department of Internal Affairs eventually accepted, that failing to disclose the arrest on his citizenship application was not deliberate. Taylor said he thought the charge had been dropped.
When the mistake was discovered, Taylor was given notice that his citizenship was going to be removed. He applied to the High Court in Wellington for a declaration that the move was not justified.
Justice Patricia Courtney said Taylor's mistake was enough to deprive him of citizenship.
When he first arrived in New Zealand, Taylor had a job with a Christchurch company as a consultant radiologist.
He applied to shorten the usual five-year wait between residency and citizenship because he travelled frequently to Australia for work and, with his US passport, he had to apply for a business visa each time he travelled.
It is understood he continued to work in Australia until his medical registration there was cancelled in 2015.
His New Zealand medical registration was cancelled in June 2015.