Oil manager accused of espionage gets bail

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 10/01/2013

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An oil and gas manager facing an allegation of industrial espionage has been remanded on bail to a committal hearing in the New Plymouth District Court.

James Winston Watchorn, 41, is alleged to have taken information from Tag Oil, where he was a production and facilities manager, when he left to work for New Zealand Energy Corporation last year.

After his arrest last year, CIB Detective Byron Reid said the defendant was facing a charge of computer crime after allegedly accessing a Tag Oil computer for a dishonest purpose.

During Watchorn's appearance in court on Tuesday, defence lawyer Turitea Bolstad said Watchorn would be represented by Susan Hughes, QC. Ms Hughes was still awaiting police disclosure.

The charge was an indictable matter, Ms Bolstad said, and asked for the case to be remanded to a committal date.

Judge Allan Roberts further remanded Watchorn on bail until February 7.

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