27 Nov 2014

Brazil dispute muddies Smith case

2:57 pm on 27 November 2014

Authorities in Brazil are providing conflicting information on the Phillip Smith case, creating further uncertainty over whether he will shortly be deported.

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

CCTV footage of Phillip Smith as he passed through Auckland Airport. Photo: NZ Police

At the weekend, a judge in Rio ordered Smith be deported from Brazil within 10 days.

But reporter Alexandre Tortoriello told Morning Report federal police in Brasilia were slowing down the process because of a internal dispute, and have said they are waiting for a Supreme Court decision on the case.

Emails supplied to Radio New Zealand appear to show https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1372209/email.pdf Interpol in Brasilia contacting police in Wellington] to say the deportation order was not authorised and Smith would not be sent back to New Zealand this week.

Federal police in Brasilia suggested New Zealand officers wait for formal authorisation before flying to the country to take charge of Smith.

A spokesperson for the police in Brazil said a court order in Rio had not been issued, and they were still waiting for this, while justice department there said the case was now before the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court deals only with extraditions, not deportations, and a spokesperson for the court has said no extraditions requests had been lodged.

Police in New Zealand have given little details on developments, other than to say the liaison process with the Brazilian authorities is ongoing.

New fraud revealed

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Phillip Smith defrauded the taxpayer of nearly $27,000 in student living costs while in prison.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Social Development this morning confirmed Smith received living costs from 2003 to 2008 while studying in prison and receiving a student loan.

The spokesperson says the department is working on recovering the money, which was obtained after Smith gave false documents that he had been released from prison.

Smith also owes Inland Revenue $47,000 for falsely claiming Working for Families credits.

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. Using a passport issued in his birth name Phillip Traynor, he flew out of Auckland on 6 November to Chile, from where he went to Brazil.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs