New Zealand Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet employee named as Telecom mole

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Michael Ryan, a messenger at the office of the prime minister, has been identified as the mole who leaked confidential papers to Telecom.

The leaked papers were detailing the plan for the government to unbundle the local loop. It was to be released on Thursday with the 2006 budget, but since Telecom, a publicly traded company, found out they decided to release it early.

Michael Ryan, May 2, was told to shred a document, but instead of doing that he took it and gave it to Telecom's Group Financial Controller Peter Garty, a close friend. He gave it to Peter Garty because he thought he would find it interesting. Michael Ryan told Peter Garty to not make a copy of it. Peter Garty made a copy.

Telecom shares fell from $5.65 to $4.65 following the disclosure, wiping about $2 billion off the value of the company.

The States Service Commission has passed the case onto the police.

The mole has lost his job. His actions were described as "gross and disgraceful dishonesty" by Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Sources

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