11:45AM Thursday February 08, 2007
Former immigration minister Tuariki John Delamere
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Former minister in court for fraud
Former immigration minister Tuariki John Delamere believed applications made to the Immigration Service on behalf of his Chinese migrant clients were honest and lawful, a defence lawyer told a jury today.
Delamere denies 20 fraud charges over applications made to the Immigration Service between 2001 and 2004 by his immigration consultancy, Tuariki Delamere and Associates.
On the second day of the trial in the High Court at Auckland, defence lawyer Paul Dacre, in his opening address, asked the jury to think about what was going on Delamere's mind when he made the applications.
"Was it some cynical approach or a genuine application?"
Mr Dacre said he disputed the Crown's case that the scheme was dishonest.
"Mr Delamere believed what he was doing was honest and also lawful."
Attempts to paint a scheme with a Chinese business partner as a "money-go-round" was a cynical ploy.
"It was perfectly legal, perfectly legitimate."
Mr Dacre said it was not a system that was designed to get around the Immigration Service. Documents used by Delamere were not dishonestly produced with the intention of misleading third parties, he said.
Delamere "at all times was acting legitimately, honestly and in his clients interests".
The trial is continuing