Final submissions are underway to decide whether Cameron Ortis, the senior RCMP director accused of preparing to leak sensitive information, should be released on bail.
Ortis, 47, is charged under the Security of Information Act with preparing to share sensitive information with a foreign entity or terrorist organization. He’s also charged with sharing operational information back in 2015.
On Day 1 of a two-day bail hearing, Crown attorneys laid out their case for keeping the head of the RCMP’s national intelligence co-ordination centre in custody.
The evidence and arguments are protected by a publication ban, a routine proceeding for bail hearings. The charges Ortis faces have a “reverse onus” rule on bail — meaning his defence team has to convince the court that bail should be granted.
RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki has said that, by virtue of his position, Ortis had access to intelligence gathered by Canadian authorities and foreign allies.
According to documents viewed by CBC in the immediate aftermath of his arrest, the classified intelligence material Ortis allegedly was preparing to share included some of the most closely protected of Canada’s national security assets; its dissemination would threaten Canada’s relations with its allies.
The documents said Canada’s security services first got wind of Ortis’s alleged activities through a separate probe of Phantom Secure Communications, a B.C.-based company under investigation for allegedly providing encrypted communication devices to international criminals.
The FBI discovered in 2018 that a person was sending emails to company CEO Vincent Ramos offering to provide valuable information. Canadian authorities believe that person was Ortis, the documents allege.
The investigation into Ortis is still ongoing and Lucki has called the allegations “extremely unsettling.”