19 Dec 2014

Prison staff member stood down

8:46 pm on 19 December 2014

A staff member at Auckland Prison has been stood down after being interviewed by the police over allegations he helped killer and paedophile Phillip John Smith escape.

Phillip Smith

Phillip Smith Photo: RNZ / Murielle Baker

Smith was captured in Brazil last month after fleeing the country while on temporary release from jail.

He has alleged he paid a prison officer $7000 to help him get a passport.

The regional commissioner for the Northern Region, Jeanette Burns, said Corrections Professional Standards Unit was assisting the police with their inquiries.

She said while the department was limited in what it could say at this stage, it took such allegations against its staff very seriously.

Police said they also executed two search warrants at separate addresses in relation to Smith's allegations.

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