JAILED Government lawyer Warwick Reid will be given a new identity and moved to a secret new country amid fears for his safety when he leaves prison later this year. The moves are being made by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and the New Zealand authorities as part of a long-standing agreement to safeguard Reid under a witness protection programme. Reid was convicted in a $12 million corruption case in 1990, and subsequently gave evidence for the prosecution in several follow-up trials in return for a lighter sentence. In what are believed to be his first public comments since his imprisonment, the New Zealand barrister, who is serving the final months of his jail term in Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre, Castle Peak, spoke to the Sunday Morning Post through his lawyer. The lawyer, who has represented Reid for several years, spoke to his client yesterday in a special protection unit at the Government centre where he has been held since February 1993. He said Reid wanted to clarify points about his future following a story in the South China Morning Post last week which said he had pleaded with his former employers to return to his old job in New Zealand. It claimed his wife, Judith, who lives in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, on the North Island, had written to local law firm, Holland Beckett and Co, seeking a position for Reid on his return. 'It is not correct that he is going back to Tauranga,' the lawyer said yesterday, passing on Reid's comments. 'And it is not correct that he has applied to his old law firm for his job back. 'He is hoping he is going to be relocated with a new identity. 'He has the ICAC and the New Zealand authorities working on that.' The lawyer said the moves to give Reid a new identity and home stemmed from a commitment made to him when he was first arrested. The ICAC refused to comment on any threats being made to Reid although it is understood fears have been expressed by both parties that he could be the target of a revenge attack by people associated with his crime. The lawyer, who does not represent Reid in the ongoing legal wrangle over his assets, said he is sure his client wants to work again but he will not reveal what he will do or where he will go. Asked how Reid was coping with prison, the lawyer said he was 'doing a lot better' as he neared the end of his term. Reid, 46, who was a Deputy Crown Prosecutor in the Legal Department before his conviction, is expected to be escorted to the airport on his release from jail in November and flown out of Hong Kong to an undisclosed destination. According to Government sources, a five-year hunt to track down Reid's assets as part of a civil action against him to recover the missing millions is nearly over and is expected to be finalised shortly. The saga started when Reid was questioned by authorities in 1989 but could not explain the $12,415,900 in assets he held. He was arrested by the ICAC on October 27 that year. Reid fled to China using a false passport in December 1989 and then moved on to the Philippines. He was tracked down and arrested in Manila on March 30, 1990, and flown back to Hong Kong. He was convicted and sentenced to eight years in jail in July that year by the Chief Justice, Sir Ti Liang Yang. Sir Ti Liang told him he could petition the Governor for a three-year reduction after giving evidence for the Crown in a number of follow-up trials. However, Governor Chris Patten allowed him just one year's remission, which will see Reid released on November 29.