Lawyers anticipate a long bail hearing for an RCMP employee charged with breaching the official-secrets law.
Cameron Jay Ortis, who was arrested three weeks ago, made his fourth appearance in Ontario court Friday via video link from the Ottawa jail.
Defence lawyer Ian Carter said he had received enough information from the Crown about the case to begin discussing the timing of a multiday bail hearing for his client with prosecutor John MacFarlane.
Mr. Ortis, a senior RCMP intelligence official, is due back in court next Wednesday when dates for the bail proceeding might be set.
The 47-year-old is accused of violating three sections of the Security of Information Act, as well as two Criminal Code provisions, including breach of trust, for allegedly trying to disclose classified information to an unspecified foreign entity or terrorist group.
Mr. Ortis faces a total of seven counts against under the various provisions, dating from as early as Jan. 1, 2015, through to Sept. 12 of this year.
RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki has said the allegations, if proven true, are extremely unsettling, given that Mr. Ortis had access to intelligence from domestic and international allies.
Commissioner Lucki provided few other details and cautioned that information in the public domain was “speculative, unhelpful, and may be harmful to our investigation and judicial process.”
The Crown has been gradually providing more details about the case to Mr. Carter, who received the latest batch of material this week.
“We’ve received sufficient disclosure now that we feel we’re in a position to move to the next steps in terms of setting a bail hearing,” Mr. Carter said Friday after the brief hearing.
“Because it’s expected to be a lengthy and complex hearing – a multi-day [proceeding] – we’re going to take the next few days, the prosecutors and myself, to discuss the logistics of that. And then we hope to return on Wednesday to set the actual hearing dates at that point.”
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