Convicted murderer Phillip John Smith intends to defend the charges related to his alleged escape overseas.
Smith, 40, was deported from Brazil on November 28 and appeared in Auckland District Court this morning via an audio-visual link from Auckland Prison.
The defendant looked starkly different to how he appeared in photos from Brazil.
He appeared without his hairpiece, revealing he was almost totally bald.
Smith caught on camera at Auckland Airport as he flees the country.
He sat still and expressionless throughout the hearing.
His lawyer Tony Ellis indicated he was likely to plead not guilty but no pleas were entered today.
Smith was charged with escaping lawful custody while allegedly on the run in South America and a charge of false representation was added to that in relation to how he obtained a passport.
Court documents allege Smith falsely declared he lived at a lower North Island address when attempting to renew the document in June 2013.
The specific address was suppressed by Judge John Macdonald, as was the summary of facts, pending a hearing in a week.
Superintendent Richard Chambers said the police investigation was ongoing and further charges might be laid and police requested the suppression order to protect the integrity of their enquiry.
Mr Ellis supported some of the police's submissions but drew the judge's attention to what he saw as hypocrisy after the authorities put so much information about his client into the public arena then sought to keep things secret.
The lawyer also said he believed his client was no longer on hunger strike.
Smith was caught in Rio de Janeiro on November 13 a week after allegedly fleeing New Zealand while on temporary release from Spring Hill Corrections Facility in South Auckland where he was serving a life term.
In 1995, he stabbed to death the father of a boy he had been sexually abusing, after tracking the family down to a Wellington house where they had moved to escape him.
Smith was on bail at the time for the sexual offending and charges of blackmail against a man who later killed himself.
The last time Smith appeared in Auckland District Court was a little more than two years ago when he was sentenced over a benefit fraud scam worth more than $40,000.
With hairpiece: Smith arrested outside a hostel in Brazil. Photo / AP
He wrote a letter to Judge Anne Kiernan which said he was "liberated from the type of thinking that leads to criminal offending".
The judge said she was impressed with Smith's "articulate and insightful" writing.
Last week, the defendant reportedly went on hunger strike after his hair piece and other items were confiscated.
Mr Ellis said that since returning to prison Smith had been "stripped of his inherent dignity" after authorities took his wig, glasses and some clothing due to his "at risk" status.
Smith's next appearance will also be by audio-visual link.