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Bail revoked for RCMP intelligence official awaiting trial in secrets case

Last Updated Nov 8, 2019 at 3:35 pm EST

Cameron Ortis, a senior intelligence official at the RCMP, leaves the courthouse in Ottawa after being granted bail on October 22, 2019. The Crown is asking an Ontario court to overturn a decision to grant bail to a senior RCMP official accused of breaching Canada's secrets law. The Public Prosecution Service of Canada says the Ontario Superior Court of Justice is expected to rule Friday on the request to have Cameron Jay Ortis returned to custody. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

A judge has revoked bail for a senior RCMP official awaiting trial on charges of breaking Canada’s secrets law.

Under the terms of bail set last month, Cameron Jay Ortis was living with his parents in Abbotsford, B.C., had to report to the RCMP 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.

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. No trial date has been set.

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.”

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