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Accused RCMP leaker acted on ‘clear and grave threat,’ defence lawyer says

OTTAWA — A lawyer for a former RCMP intelligence official charged with leaking secrets is telling a jury his client did not betray Canada, but acted on a “clear and grave threat.” 

Jon Doody, who represents Cameron Jay Ortis, began closing arguments for the defence in Ontario Superior Court today.

Ortis, 51, has pleaded not guilty to violating the Security of Information Act by revealing secrets to three individuals in 2015 and trying to do so in a fourth instance, as well as breach of trust and a computer-related offence. 

The Crown argues Ortis lacked authority to disclose classified material and that he was not doing so as part of some kind of undercover operation.

Ortis, who was director of the RCMP’s Operations Research group, has told the jury he didn’t commit a crime or lose sight of his mission.

On the contrary, Ortis says, he offered secret material to targets in a bid to get them to use an online encryption service secretly set up by an allied intelligence service to spy on adversaries.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2023.

The Canadian Press