Cameron Ortis, ex-RCMP official accused of leaking secrets and techniques, says he did nothing mistaken

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

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 expenses towards him. His defence group says he was performing on “secret data” despatched by a overseas company to guard Canada from “severe and imminent threats.”

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

The previous civilian member of the RCMP informed 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 could transpire,” stated Ortis.

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

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

Ortis stated his arrest has been personally “devastating.”

He stated his pension and possessions are “all gone” and his fame has been “fully destroyed.”

“Household stood by me. Pals didn’t,” he stated.

“Pals from the outdated days in British Columbia who I’ve identified for a very long time have stood by me, however buddies and colleagues in Ottawa {and professional} contacts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

‘Stunning’ that intelligence was not getting used: Ortis

The 51-year-old faces six expenses, together with a number of counts below the Safety of Data Act, the legislation 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.

Through 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 methods and passenger rail.

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

“I clicked on the icon. The icon introduced up a window. The window stated, ‘You should not have entry to this however if you’d like entry, name this quantity.’ And so, I known as that quantity,” he stated.

He stated he was not conscious of every other civilian members or Mounties who had been accessing allies’ data on the time.

“It was shocking,” he stated.

“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 stated he flagged it to his superior and requested if he might “paint an image of what the menace reporting was on this method.”

In 2012, Bob Paulson, then an assistant commissioner, requested Ortis to assist create a brand new unit inside RCMP nationwide safety known 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 informed to pursue money-laundering

The unit started coping with counterterrorism recordsdata however took on transnational organized crime by means 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 stated.

“I noticed some distinctive reporting through the peculiar course of triage that defined, described, and outlined a menace to Canada and the banking system. A unprecedented amount of cash that was being laundered by means of Canada and its closest companions, and the actors that had been concerned with that cash laundering.”

He stated these “actors” had been hostile state actors — “enemies of the Western world.”

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

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

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

He stated 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 at the very least 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,” stated Ortis.

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

The transcript supplied 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 had been concentrating on. What delicate paperwork do police say Ortis uncovered? For transcripts of Entrance Burner, please go to: Transcripts of every episode might be made accessible by the subsequent workday. How are an encrypted telephone vendor and worldwide cash laundering community concerned? What’s behind the defence’s bombshell declare that Ortis was performing on overseas intel? CBC Parliamentary reporter Catharine Tunney returns to elucidate.

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