Anti-royal threatens hunger strike
A man accused of planning to cover Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in horse manure maintains his innocence and has threatened a hunger strike if he is jailed.
Castislav Sam Bracanov, 76, appeared at Auckland District Court and emphasised his not guilty plea to the charge of behaving in a manner that inferred that he was preparing to commit a crime - even though he told media outside court he wanted to cover the royal couple in the animal waste.
Charles and Camilla were due to arrive in downtown Auckland on November 12 when Bracanov was arrested with a $2 bucket of manure.
He spent the night in the police cells ahead of his first court appearance two weeks ago, before being bailed under the condition he stay at least 500m away from the royals.
Today he was asked by community magistrate Jan Holmes whether he wanted to see a duty solicitor for some legal advice, but Bracanov was not interested.
"I need you to know the duty lawyers are very good and they're free," she said.
But Bracanov replied: "No. They're thieving too, just like the rest of them."
The Yugoslav immigrant, who is hard of hearing, struggled at times to hear what Holmes was saying but after a couple of misunderstandings a date in May for a defended hearing was arranged.
"I'm trying to do what's right," he shouted as she stood the matter down.
Outside court he was even more animated and at first was unprepared to even consider being found guilty.
"I've done nothing really wrong," he said.
"This is not crime. Crime is stealing, killing, raping. It's them who are stealing from people - [Charles] and the Queen do crime."
When asked about possible prison time, he answered quickly.
"If they put me in jail, I'll go on hunger strike and die there," Bracanov said.