Bail decision expected Friday for alleged spy
While the Navy intelligence officer accused of spying waits to hear whether he will be granted bail, Canadians will also have to wait to hear details of the case against him.
A Nova Scotia provincial court judge imposed a publication ban on the proceedings at the bail hearing for Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Paul Delisle Wednesday.
After hearing five hours of testimony and legal arguments, Judge Barbara Beach said she will rule Friday on whether to grant Delisle bail.
Delisle's lawyer, Mike Taylor, had requested bail for his client, while the Crown sought to keep the accused in custody.
"There's good reason to believe that he's not going to be a flight risk, he's not a danger to commit further offences," Taylor told reporters outside court.
Delisle, who has been in custody since January, faces two charges under Canada's Security of Information Act, and one charge under the Criminal Code.
According to documents filed with the court, he is charged under the Information Act for one offence that took place sometime between July 2007 and Jan. 13, 2012, and another that allegedly took place between Jan. 10 and 13 of this year.
The criminal charge, for breach of trust, pertains to an alleged offence that occurred between 2007 and last January.
The 40-year-old father of two was arrested in January, amid reports he had passed information to Russian operatives.
Canadian officials have remained tight-lipped about the case, telling reporters that it is being handled by the courts.
For their part, Russian officials have denied any wrongdoing, explaining that consular staff members reportedly sent packing as the scandal unfolded were simply at the end of their terms in Canada.
Sources have told CTV's Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife that the information Delisle is accused of passing to a foreign entity could include sensitive data on underwater 'dead zones' in which submarines could travel undetected; details of navy ship movements in the Arctic and the Middle East; and even weapons system information.
Taylor said much of the information dealing with his client's case was blacked out of documents filed in court Wednesday.
"There's quite a bit that's censored, but it has to do with the specifics of the information they're alleging was passed," Taylor said. "So, I'm not surprised."
Also not a surprise, he said, was the judge's decision to take her time to weigh the evidence that was presented.
"It's a difficult decision to make simply because there's no precedent to go by, there's nothing to look at that's taken place previously," he said.
Delisle first joined the military as a reservist in 1996, before becoming a full-fledged member in 2001. He rose through the ranks and eventually trained as an officer candidate in Kingston, Ont., before being posted at the Army's Atlantic headquarters in Halifax.
In 2007, when the period of the alleged offences begins, Delisle was working as a naval intelligence officer in Ottawa.
Most recently, he had been working at the naval intelligence centre in Halifax since August of 2011. The Trinity section at CFB Stadacona is believed to be a multi-national facility, meaning officers there have access to sensitive data from other NATO countries.
All of the offences are alleged to have taken place in the Halifax, Ottawa and Kingston areas. None of the allegations against Delisle have been proven in court.
The RCMP say that Delisle's case marks the first time charges from a section of the Security of Information Act passed in the wake of 9-11 have been laid.
According to the Security of Information Act, anyone convicted of the Act's most serious offences can be subject to life in prison.
With a report from CTV Atlantic's Rick Grant