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Cameron Ortis, ex-RCMP official accused of leaking secrets and techniques, says he did nothing incorrect | CBC Information Specific Occasions

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Cameron Ortis, the previous high-ranking RCMP intelligence official accused of leaking top-secret intelligence to police targets, instructed court docket just lately that whereas he has some regrets, his actions have been “not incorrect.”

The Crown alleges Ortis used his place as the pinnacle of a extremely secret unit inside the RCMP to aim to promote intelligence gathered by Canada and its 5 Eyes allies to people linked to the prison underworld.

Ortis has pleaded not responsible to all six prices towards him. His defence group says he was performing on “secret data” despatched by a international company to guard Canada from “critical and imminent threats.”

Ortis started testifying in his personal defence final week, behind closed doorways. A redacted transcript of what he instructed the jury per week in the past was launched to reporters Thursday evening.

The previous civilian member of the RCMP instructed the jury his “mission was to satisfy the threats to the safety of Canada head on.”

“Do you remorse performing now?” requested his defence lawyer, Mark Ertel.

“I do not make choices primarily based on my profession or profession prospects, however I could not have envisioned or imagined that every one of this may transpire,” mentioned Ortis.

“After all, in some sense I remorse every little thing that is occurred during the last 4 years to everybody, however what I did was not incorrect.” 

Cameron Jay Ortis, proper, a former RCMP intelligence director accused of revealing labeled data, returns to the Ottawa Courthouse throughout a break in proceedings in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023. (Spencer Colby/The Canadian Press)

Ortis mentioned his arrest has been personally “devastating.”

He mentioned his pension and possessions are “all gone” and his popularity has been “fully destroyed.”

“Household stood by me. Buddies didn’t,” he mentioned.

“Buddies from the previous days in British Columbia who I’ve identified for a very long time have stood by me, however mates and colleagues in Ottawa {and professional} contacts haven’t.”

‘Stunning’ that intelligence was not getting used: Ortis

The 51-year-old faces six prices, together with a number of counts beneath the Safety of Info Act, the regulation meant to guard Canada’s secrets and techniques. He’s accused of sharing particular operational data “deliberately and with out authority” with three males, and of trying to share data with one other.

In the course of the first few hours of his testimony, he detailed how he joined the RCMP to work within the crucial infrastructure intelligence program, which handled threats towards issues like dams, telecommunication techniques and passenger rail.

He mentioned he got here into contact with “high-side” materials — a time period used to explain labeled materials, together with human and indicators intelligence —  by clicking on an icon on Canada’s High Secret Community (CTSN). That is the pc community utilized by the federal authorities to share labeled data.

“I clicked on the icon. The icon introduced up a window. The window mentioned, ‘You would not have entry to this however in order for you entry, name this quantity.’ And so, I referred to as that quantity,” he mentioned.

He mentioned he was not conscious of another civilian members or Mounties who have been accessing allies’ data on the time.

“It was stunning,” he mentioned.

“Given its mission and its reemergence into the nationwide safety world after 9/11, tasked with counterterrorism, I used to be stunned that the data from the 5EYES, all the data, was not being utilized.”

Ortis mentioned he flagged it to his superior and requested if he may “paint an image of what the risk reporting was on this technique.”

In 2012, Bob Paulson, then an assistant commissioner, requested Ortis to assist create a brand new unit inside RCMP nationwide safety referred to as Operations Analysis (OR), which was meant to transient senior management on rising threats primarily based on intelligence gathered by Canada and its allies.

Ortis says he was instructed to pursue money-laundering

The unit started coping with counterterrorism information however took on transnational organized crime by way of a file identified to the RCMP as “Skyfall.”

“It was cash laundering that was threatening the integrity and the material of the Canadian monetary system,” Ortis mentioned.

“I noticed some distinctive reporting in the course of the peculiar course of triage that defined, described, and outlined a risk to Canada and the banking system. A unprecedented sum of money that was being laundered by way of Canada and its closest companions, and the actors that have been concerned with that cash laundering.”

He mentioned these “actors” have been hostile state actors — “enemies of the Western world.”

“Iran, Russia, China, and a number of other different nations,” mentioned Ortis.

“It appears from what’s being reported form of usually within the media, like, it is form of generally accepted that Iran is funding Hamas within the Israel-Hamas warfare,” mentioned Ertel.

Ortis mentioned round 2011-2012 the RCMP had not been profitable investigating  worldwide cash launders’ connection to Canada

He mentioned he determined to create an infographic on what he realized to current a briefing to the RCMP’s senior chain of command  —  to the assistant commissioner, the deputy commissioner and the commissioner.

“This was proper on the RCMP’s mandate by way of high-level organized crime finishing up cash laundering that no less than in my expertise had a scale and scope that I had by no means seen earlier than,” Ortis testified.

Ertel requested Ortis if, after the briefing, he had the impression the problem was one thing his superiors wished him to pursue.

“That is right,” mentioned Ortis.

“I used to be instructed, I can paraphrase, ‘Get on this.'”

The transcript offered to media Thursday evening ends on the level when the court docket took a lunch break on Nov. 2.

A consortium of media organizations that features CBC Information fought the transfer to limit entry to Ortis’s testimony.

Different particulars of the secrecy measure are coated by a publication ban.

LISTEN: Did a former RCMP official have secrets and techniques on the market?

Entrance Burner20:51Did an ex-RCMP boss have secrets and techniques on the market?

Featured VideoContained in the trial of former RCMP intelligence director Cameron Ortis, who’s dealing with allegations he tried to promote secrets and techniques to among the very individuals police have been focusing on. What delicate paperwork do police say Ortis uncovered? For transcripts of Entrance Burner, please go to: Transcripts of every episode might be made out there by the following workday. How are an encrypted telephone supplier and worldwide cash laundering community concerned? What’s behind the defence’s bombshell declare that Ortis was performing on international intel? CBC Parliamentary reporter Catharine Tunney returns to elucidate.


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