By Political Editor Duncan Garner
Labour MP Shane Jones has revealed why he allowed Chinese immigrant Yong Ming Yan, charged with making false statements to gain citizenship, to stay in New Zealand.
Earlier today Mr Jones told media it was for 'humanitarian reasons', but later in an exclusive interview with 3 News he says he was told by a top Internal Affairs official Mr Yan would be executed if he was sent home to China.
As a minister, Mr Jones signed off on Mr Yan's application to become a New Zealand citizen, despite officials telling him not to.
“I was told the execution of this man… that he would be executed… which is the reason the officials gave for him not wanting to go back to China.”
Mr Jones said declining it would have been like signing a death warrant.
Mr Jones says he was told that Mr Yan would be “jailed, executed and his organs harvested” if he was sent back to China.
“That to me comprised grounds for a humanitarian decision,” Mr Jones says.
He confirmed those were the words used to describe the situation.
“When a Government official in a minister's office says such a thing so graphic that I actually wrote it down."
Mr Jones says he has the words written on file.
“I'd never had the experience of a New Zealander let alone a New Zealand official saying such a thing."
He says this was his only citizenship case as minister but it has been wrongly reported that it took one day to make the decision.
“That is a lie ... the truth is [I] got it in July and it was signed off on the 6th of August which is not one night."
Mr Jones says he would be happy for any investigation to take place into his role in this matter.