WELLINGTON — A New Zealand politician resigned from his party Friday after admitting he stole a dead baby's identity to obtain a false passport 26 years ago.
David Garrett, a lawmaker with the minor Act Party, made the surprise admission in Parliament this week, calling the identity theft a "harmless prank" when he was in his mid-20s.
Garrett, now 52 and Act's spokesman on law-and-order issues, said he picked the idea up from the best-selling novel "Day of the Jackal."
He told Parliament he stole a dead baby's identity in 1984 using details he found on a cemetery tombstone. Police arrested him in 2005 after uncovering the fraud while investigating a similar action by two Israeli secret service agents who stole another dead New Zealand baby's identity for a passport.