OTTAWA – An Ontario court on Tuesday released on bail a top Canadian police intelligence official charged with leaking secret information last month, the country’s public prosecution service said.
Cameron Ortis, a director general with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) who had access to highly sensitive domestic and foreign intelligence, faces charges under a little-used 2012 security of information law.
Ortis appeared in an Ottawa court room on Tuesday to hear the court’s decision, following a two-day bail hearing last week.
Nathalie Houle, a media relations adviser with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, confirmed his release when reached by phone. Ortis’ defense lawyer Ian Carter did not immediately respond.
As part of his bail conditions, Ortis, 47, is required to live with his parents in Abbotsford, British Columbia, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. He is also forbidden to use any kind of device that connects to the internet and must report to an RCMP detachment on a weekly basis.
The CBC could not cite the reasons that Ortis was granted bail because of a publication ban, a routine proceeding for bail hearings in Canada.
Canada is part of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network with the United States, Britain, New Zealand and Australia. Security experts have said the case could damage Canada’s standing inside the intelligence-sharing network.
In a September media briefing, RCMP Commission Brenda Lucki conceded there was concern in the Five Eyes community, but said it was too early to tell what damage might have been done, noting none of Canada’s allies had clamped down on information sharing so far.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.