RCMP official back in custody after judge revokes bail in secrets case

Cameron Jay Ortis was living with his parents in Abbotsford

A senior RCMP intelligence official charged with breaking Canada’s secrets law was headed back to an Ottawa jail after a judge rescinded his bail Friday.

Under the terms of bail set last month by a justice of the peace, Cameron Jay Ortis was living with his parents in Abbotsford and had to report to police once a week and was forbidden from using any device that connects to the internet.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Marc Labrosse said Friday that Ortis would be returned to custody as a result of a review requested by the Crown.

The reasons for Labrosse’s decision and details of the Crown’s review application, heard last week, are covered by a publication ban.

Ortis, 47, faces charges under the Security of Information Act for allegedly disclosing secrets to an unknown recipient and planning to reveal additional classified information to an unspecified foreign entity.

He faces a total of seven counts under various provisions, dating from as early as Jan. 1, 2015, to Sept. 12 of this year.

“The Crown’s position was always that Mr. Ortis should be detained,” prosecutor Judy Kliewer said following Labrosse’s ruling. “I can’t say anything more about the case right now because of the publication ban, which is in place in order to protect Mr. Ortis’s right to a fair trial.”

RCMP officers were waiting Friday outside the Ortis family condominium in Abbotsford.

READ MORE: Alleged RCMP secret leaker must live with parents in Abbotsford while on bail

“We had to ensure that in the event that Mr. Ortis was detained, that there were plans in place to ensure that he was remanded into custody immediately, and we did that,” Kliewer said.

Ian Carter, a lawyer for Ortis, expressed disappointment after Friday’s hearing.

“We thought that the justice of the peace’s decision was reasonable and the correct one,” he said.

The defence wants to see more of the Crown’s case against Ortis, Carter added.

“Basically we need to get more disclosure, we don’t have all the disclosure yet to analyze the case and begin preparation for defending him against these charges.”

Kliewer said the Crown was ”continuing with the disclosure process” and would soon move to set trial dates.

Unlike the case for many criminal offences, Ortis had the burden of demonstrating why he should be freed on bail while he awaits trial on the secrets-law charges.

The bail conditions established last month required that Ortis and his parents, who were acting as sureties, each post a $125,000 bond.

One of his parents was to be in the B.C. residence with him at all times and accompany him on outings.

All phones, computers and tablets in the home were to be password-protected and locked away when not in the possession of Ortis’ parents.

In addition, Ortis could not attend any place that had public internet access, was forbidden from possessing weapons and was required to surrender his passport to authorities.

The Security of Information Act, passed following the 9/11 attacks on the United States, is intended to safeguard sensitive government secrets. Charges have been rare but Jeffrey Paul Delisle, a naval officer who gave classified material to Russia, pleaded guilty to offences under the act in 2012.

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki has said the allegations against Ortis are unsettling, noting that as director general of the force’s National Intelligence Co-ordination Centre, he had access to information from domestic and international allies.

Lucki told a news conference in September that investigators came across documents during a joint investigation with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation that led the Mounties to believe there could be some kind of “internal corruption.”

Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province needs to do something to end WFP strike

Passivity on the issue causing hardship to many workers who elected Premier into office

Wild winter weather week in the Chemainus Valley

Stats and expert analysis on a snowy and cold few days

Rebates increase for Cowichan residents replacing old woodstoves

Extra incentive provided to make the switch to heat pumps

LNG not the bad guy in caribou decimation

The Greens seem prepared to bankrupt Canada in their quest for instant results

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

University of Victoria tells stories of Holocaust survivors with graphic novels

International storytelling initiative launched first meetings this winter

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Most Read