ODCE/INM backgrounder: Who are Derek Mizak and John Henry?
Security consultants figure in documents being sought from INM chairman Leslie Buckley
INM chairman Leslie Buckley, who is claiming legal privilege to prevent the ODCE from accessing 11 documents, 10 of which are communications with Derek Mizak. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill
The State’s corporate watchdog, the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, is investigating matters at Independent News & Media, including a “potential data breach” at the company, whose main shareholder is Denis O’Brien.
Consultants Derek Mizak and John Henry, named in the High Court yesterday during the ODCE’s pursuit of documents from INM chairman Leslie Buckley, are associated with companies that work closely with O’Brien’s Caribbean telco, Digicel.
Mr Buckley is also vice-chairman of Digicel and a long-time business associate of Mr O’Brien.
Mr Buckley is claiming legal privilege to prevent the ODCE from accessing 11 documents, 10 of which are communications with Mr Mizak, a Dublin-based cybersecurity consultant whom Mr Buckley says gave him “technical assistance”.
Mr Mizak, who also goes by the first name Dariusz, lectures on cybersecurity at Dublin Business School. He also describes himself as an expert in “counterintelligence and digital forensics”.
Until last month, he was chief technology officer at Dublin-based company Resilient Defence, which specialises in “technical security countermeasures” such as the debugging of boardrooms. Its website landing page asks: “Are your conversations being listened to?”
Mizak is also listed as a 40 per cent shareholder in Resilient, which describes itself as a subsidiary of its majority shareholder, Ballsbridge-based Reconnaissance Group.
Reconnaissance has a long association with Digicel, to which it has provided risk management and security services, most notably in Haiti, one of Digicel’s biggest markets in the Caribbean.
On its website, Reconnaissance lists its Haiti office at Digicel’s local office in Port-Au-Prince and also says it provides vehicle-tracking services to the telecoms group.
Reconnaissance is owned by members of the Dublin-based Henry family, including Shane Henry, its chief executive, who served as an instructor with the Irish Defence Forces in west Africa.
His father is John Henry, the man named in documents filed in the ODCE’s pursuit of files from Mr Buckley. The ODCE’s barrister told the court it wants to know more about his links to Mr Buckley and the matters being scrutinised at INM.
John Henry is also a former Irish Army officer who later entered the security industry. He has been providing security services to Digicel in Haiti for many years.
Mr Henry runs a Dublin firm, Specialised Security Services, which says it as a “partner” of Reconnaissance, of which he is a former director. When asked yesterday about his links to Mr Buckley, he said: “I don’t know who you are” and terminated the call. Mr Mizak could not be reached for comment.
Digicel refused to comment “as these matters have nothing to do” with the company. INM declined to comment because the matter is before the courts.