Canadian Official Found Guilty of Providing Secrets to Criminals

In his lawyer’s telling, the stakes were high when Cameron Ortis took on a secret mission while he was working at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, where he was the civilian director of an elite intelligence unit. “He protected Canada from serious and imminent threats,” the lawyer, Mark Ertel, told a jury in Ottawa.

But prosecutors and witnesses at Mr. Ortis’s trial said there was no such mission and instead he provided sensitive intelligence to people under criminal investigation without authorization or the knowledge of the police force.

“His story was nothing but an attempt to have you believe that his criminal, self-motivated acts were aimed at some lofty and secret purpose,” Judy Kliewer, one of the prosecutors, told the jurors, while acknowledging that Mr. Ortis’s true motive remains a mystery to investigators.

On Wednesday Mr. Ortis was convicted of four counts of providing confidential operational information to four men who were targets of police investigations, breach of trust and unauthorized use of a computer.

Mr. Ortis will be sentenced in January and he faces as many as 15 years in prison.

It was a remarkable downfall for Mr. Ortis, 51, who even prosecutors agreed was highly respected when he was arrested in 2020 and accused of giving secret information.

He rose from director of operations research, the post he held when prosecutors say he was leaking secrets, to become director general of the national intelligence coordination unit. Both were unusually high level positions for a civilian within the national police force.

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