Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Canada Accuses Naval Officer of Spying ; Secrets Passed for 4 Years from Intelligence Center, Court Documents Charge

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Canada Accuses Naval Officer of Spying ; Secrets Passed for 4 Years from Intelligence Center, Court Documents Charge

Article excerpt

Court documents assert that Sub-Lt. Jeffery Paul Delisle, who worked in key military intelligence centers, began spying four and a half years ago.

A Canadian naval officer who worked in some of the country's key military intelligence centers has been charged with breach of trust and passing along government secrets to a "foreign entity." The officer, Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Paul Delisle, 40, remained in jail after his lawyer asked a court in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to delay a bail hearing to give him more time to study the government's case.

Neither the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the military nor the government offered much detail publicly Tuesday about the charges, including the identity of the foreign power. But the Canadian television network CTV said it was Russia, without giving the source for that information.

Court documents assert that the spying began four and a half years ago and continued until last Friday, when intelligence and police officials raided Lieutenant Delisle's house in suburban Halifax.

Until last week, Lieutenant Delisle worked at Trinity, an intelligence and communication center that is part of a large naval base in Halifax. Philippe Lagasse, who teaches defense policy at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs of the University of Ottawa, said Trinity was primarily responsible for tracking the position of military ships in the Atlantic Ocean, including submarines.

According to several Canadian news reports, Lieutenant Delisle once worked in the main clearinghouse for military intelligence at the headquarters of the Department of National Defense in Ottawa, as well as its top operational planning unit in nearby Kingston, Ontario.

The Canadian defense minister, Peter MacKay, would not answer questions about the possibility of Russian involvement. "I am not going to play Clue," he said in Ottawa, adding that despite the episode, "our allies have full confidence in Canada, full confidence in our information." Officials of the Russian government would not comment.

In a statement, Bob Paulson, the commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said the force was "not aware of any threat to public safety at this time from this situation. …

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