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Michael Ryan - Lawyers Statement

Press Release

Disclosure of Telecommunications Paper

1. I act for Michael Ryan, the person employed as a Messenger by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet who disclosed the telecommunications paper to a close and longstanding friend.

2. Mr Ryan received no benefit from what he did, financial or in any other sense. His motive was not to damage the government or Telecom. He had no desire to cause the government or his department any harm whatsoever. His desire was not to give Telecom or his friend any advantage by his actions.

3. He gave the document to his friend because of the close long standing friendship they had and for no other reason.

4. What occurred was an extremely foolish mistake based on a misguided sense of friendship; it could be described as extravagant gossip.

5. Mr Ryan co-operated fully with the State Services Commission Inquiry.

6. He attended the Inquiry despite having a medical certificate saying that he was medically unfit. Mr Ryan wanted to play his part to enable the resolution of what had occurred through the State Services Commission Inquiry.

7. Mr Ryan is deeply remorseful for showing the document to his close friend, Peter Garty. He had told him it was for his eyes only and not to be copied.

8. Last week, on 11 May 2006 my client tendered his resignation as a Messenger with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

9. In his resignation letter Mr Ryan again expressed his regret for the situation that he had caused. I had hoped that the department would not set about flogging a dead horse by continuing to treat Mr Ryan as an employee despite his resignation. The only reason for doing so would be so that the Department can dismiss him. They have done so.

10. We have never said Mr Ryan should retain his employment but have raised concerns about the disciplinary process that has been followed.

11. The employer says the reply to the dismissal letter was sent late. It got through at 5.04pm while Mr Wevers was at a press conference. He could not have dealt with it anyway.

12. Mr Ryan is also deeply remorseful for the distress that he has caused and in his letter to the Inquiry apologised to all he had harmed including his employer the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, its Chief Executive, Maarten Wevers, his fellow employees, the Minister responsible, Helen Clark and the government.

13. Ladies and gentlemen I have nothing further to add.

Thank you.

Peter Cullen
17 may 2006

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