Cameron Ortis, the senior RCMP intelligence staffer charged with leaking government secrets, will wait at least another week before learning when he will have a bail hearing.
Ortis made a brief video appearance in an Ottawa courtroom Friday morning.
He said very little, only telling the judge his name, and saying, “Yes, your honour, I understand”, when he was told to make another appearance next Friday. He added: “Thanks.”
His lawyer, Ian Carter, told the court he has been in contact with the Crown but needs more time to go over material the Crown is providing. He said he expects to be ready to discuss a date for the bail hearing by next Friday.
Outside the court he made a short statement but took no questions, and didn’t say anything about the facts of the case or the nature of the charges.
“We have received an initial synopsis outlining the allegations against my client,” he said. There will be more material from the Crown early next week.
“Once we review it we will be in a position to set a bail hearing.”
Ortis is a senior civilian employee at RCMP headquarters in Ottawa, described as having a brilliant mind and extensive knowledge of cybersecurity issues, particularly in Southeast Asia.
The specific charges include “intentionally or without authority” sharing special operational information; possessing a device or software for the purpose of concealing information or surreptitiously sharing or obtaining information; and breach of trust.
“The charges stem from activities alleged to have occurred during his tenure as an RCMP employee” the force said in a statement.
When he first appeared in court last week, Federal Crown prosecutor John MacFarlane said: “The allegations are he obtained, stored and processed sensitive information, the Crown believes, with the intent to communicate that information to people he shouldn’t be communicating to.”
He has a PhD in international relations and political science from the University of British Columbia, and speaks Mandarin.
His PhD dissertation posted online examined cybersecurity and the threat posed by transnational organized crime to firms and state organizations in East Asia.
RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said this week: “We are aware of the potential risk to agency operations of our partners in Canada and abroad and we thank them for their continued collaboration. We assure you that mitigation strategies are being put in place as required.”
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