High-profile inmate Arthur Taylor has been charged with wilfully disobeying a lawful order during a prison transfer, and his lawyer says it is disrupting their preparation for a series of prominent cases.
Taylor's counsel Richard Francois told the Herald the disobedience allegation comes after his client was transferred from his long-term home at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo to a residential unit at Waikeria Prison near Te Awamutu on December 20.
A Corrections spokesperson confirmed Taylor had been charged with misconduct for disobeying the lawful order of an officer.
"Jailhouse lawyer" Taylor, known as such because of his successful litigations, appeared for a misconduct hearing at Waikeria Prison on Wednesday. The matter was adjourned.
"On the day of his planned transfer, Mr Taylor was non-compliant with the instructions of staff, and actively resisted being moved," Corrections alleged.
The spokesperson added that staff acted legally when physically moving him to the escort vehicle because of his resistance.
"He was moved in a dedicated prisoner escort vehicle and accompanied by custodial staff and a nurse," the spokesperson said, adding that staff advised that the journey was without incident.
However, Taylor subsequently lodged a complaint, which is being reviewed by Corrections and has been referred to police.
Taylor said on his social media account today that police will interview him on Monday about his allegation.
He earlier wrote that he was facing a "trumped up" charge and wished to review the CCTV footage.
The 61-year-old, who has spent almost 40 years behind bars, also claims he lost consciousness for three hours during the transfer and woke up in a "suicide gown" at Waikeria.
Taylor, who has more than 150 convictions for aggravated robbery, kidnapping, possession of explosives and firearms, fraud and escaping custody - from as early as the 1970s - had been held in the east division of Auckland Prison for more than 11 years.
"There may have been an order, but it wasn't lawful," Taylor said.
Francois echoed his client's sentiments.
"We say that first of all it wasn't a lawful order. He has no intention of disobeying a lawful order," he said. "You can have an intention to disobey an unlawful order, but that's not a charge."
He said the misconduct allegation may be a result of his client having "pushed a table backwards" when Corrections' "goon squad" tried to detain him.
The Corrections spokesperson said Taylor's transfer will provide him with "the best opportunity to live crime free on his return to the community".
Taylor is up for parole next month.
In an email to the Herald he said the transfer has also created difficulties when preparing for a March hearing against Corrections over "an illegal mass strip search at Auckland prison in October 2016".
"I am without many of the legal papers I need to continue preparing for this and other cases. I also now lack a computer, although I have a court order that I be provided with one," he said.
Francois and Taylor were further preparing for two Supreme Court cases.
"I'm really, really annoyed about that, because I don't know how the hell we're going to do it now," Francois said.
Taylor has a two-day civil and cross appeal in the Supreme Court in March over Bill of Rights matters.
The pair are also preparing for Witness C's appeal against his perjury conviction and sentence in the Court of Appeal.
Taylor successfully prosecuted the police informant for lying at the 1990 double-murder trial of David Tamihere, during what was a landmark High Court trial last year.
He is also arguing for the lifting of Witness C and secret Witness B's name suppression.
Crown witnesses gave "powerful" evidence, which led to Tamihere being found guilty of murdering Swedish tourists Urban Hoglin and Heidi Paakkonen.
Other successful court battles for Taylor include cases about prisoner voting rights and a ban on smoking in prisons.