16 Nov 2014

Smith had outside help with passport

12:15 pm on 16 November 2014

The fugitive Phillip John Smith has revealed he received outside help to get the passport that allowed him to flee to Brazil.

Smith left New Zealand more than a week ago on a passport under his birth name Phillip Traynor.

He said he had had a passport issued under that name since he was about nine years old.

In a statement given to New Zealand Embassy officials, and passed on to his lawyer Tony Ellis, Smith said he had the passport renewed when he was a teenager, and last year while in jail for murder and sexual violation, he applied again.

CCTV footage of  Phillip Smith as he passed through Auckland Airport.

Phillip John Smith at Auckland Airport (CCTV) Photo: NZ Police

Mr Ellis said Smith filled out the forms and gave them to an associate to post, and was then granted the passport.

"He travelled to Brazil on 6 November 2014 using his lawfully obtained passport, travelling under his own name. He was granted a three month tourist visa."

Mr Ellis said he planned to contact Smith tomorrow to discuss the possibility of him voluntarily returning to New Zealand.

He said Smith did not have a local lawyer yet due to local restrictions.

"I think I'm going to need to contact him and discuss whether he ought to voluntarily surrender because I'm not sure that he necessarily understands the correct legal position in Brazil."

Police said when they charged Smith for murder in 1995, they were not aware of any other aliases to inform the court or other agencies.

They said he had gone to school using the name Smith, and had a driver's license under that name too.

Yesterday, police said that it would be next week before they had more information about Smith's return to New Zealand.

Smith was jailed in 1996 for stabbing to death the father of a boy he had been convicted of sexually assaulting.

He was taken into custody in Rio de Janeiro on 13 November after fleeing New Zealand while on temporary release from the Spring Hill prison in Waikato.

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