Phillip Smith: Brazil prison was rough
Convicted murderer and paedophile Phillip Smith had a "rough" experience in Brazil's Ary Franco prison.
Through his lawyer, Tony Ellis, Smith has released a statement today saying he is physically okay and had seen a "reasonable improvement in conditions" since being moved to Bandeira Stampa prison.
Smith has also explained how he managed to escape New Zealand on a passport under his birth name, Phillip Traynor.
"I was born in Wellington Hospital to John Anthony Traynor and Patricia Elsie Traynor. I was never adopted but used the name Phillip John Smith from the age of 4, Smith being my stepfather's name," he said in a statement.
Between 1984 and 1985 his passport under the name of Traynor was issued and used to travel to Fiji, New Caledonia, Tonga, USA and Australia when he was aged between 9 and 11-years-old.
His passport was renewed again a couple of years later to travel to Australia as a teenager and last year from prison Smith completed forms to renew it again.
The passport renewal was posted by an unnamed associate, Smith says.
"Under NZ law it is not unlawful for a prisoner to possess a passport. I travelled to Brazil on 6 November 2014 using my lawfully obtained passport. I travelled under my own name to Brazil. I was granted a 3-month tourist visa," the statement says.
Smith fled New Zealand while on a 72-hour temporary release from Waikato's Spring Hill prison, which sparked an international hunt that ended when he was recognised and subsequently arrested in a Rio de Janerio hostel.
The 40-year-old was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1996 for murdering the father of a Carterton boy he sexaully abused.
Along with Smith's statement Ellis has also received a summary from New Zealand Embassy officials of what legal representation Smith has received while in Brazil.
Smith hasn't received any legal counsel since his arrest on Thursday and requests to contact a lawyer from prison were denied by Brazilian authorities, Embassy officials say.
"The Embassy followed up with the Prison Deputy Director following the meeting with Smith, and he confirmed that no prisoners are allowed to make phone calls, even to make contact with legal counsel - all requests for legal counsel must be made by another party.
"The prison advised that lawyers have unrestricted access to prisoners on site at any time of day, any day of the week," officials said.