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Cameron Ortis arrives for his trial in Ottawa in November 2023.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

Cameron Ortis, a former RCMP intelligence official who was found guilty of breaching the country’s secrets act, has been granted bail while his sentence is appealed.

Jon Doody, one of Mr. Ortis’s lawyers, said Friday in an interview that Mr. Ortis is expected to be released some time next week. His client remains at the Joyceville Institution in Kingston.

In February, Mr. Ortis, 51, was sentenced to serve 14 years in prison, which is being appealed by both the Crown and the defence.

Mr. Doody said Mr. Ortis will be able to remain in the community throughout the appeal process and he expects the Court of Appeal to publicly release its bail decision early next week.

“Hopefully those reasons will articulate the reason why the court felt it appropriate to release Mr. Ortis on bail pending appeal,” he said. “I may have more comments once that decision is public.”

Prosecutor Judy Kliewer said Friday that the Crown had no further comment at this time.

In November, Mr. Ortis was found guilty by a jury of four counts of violating the secrets act. He was also found guilty of breach of trust and unauthorized use of a computer.

In a February sentencing decision, which was the first sentence for specific charges under the Security of Information Act, Justice Robert Maranger said Mr. Ortis’s actions undermined Canada’s reputation in the international intelligence community and potentially put lives at risk.

“I have concluded that a total period of imprisonment of 14 years is the appropriate disposition,” he said.

Justice Maranger also said Canada’s reputation among its Five Eyes partners may never be the same. The Five Eyes is an intelligence pact that consists of Canada, the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

The Crown appealed Justice Maranger’s decision, stating he “erred by imposing a sentence that was demonstrably unfit, given the gravity of the offences and moral blameworthiness of the offender.” The Crown had sought two consecutive sentences of 14 years for Mr. Ortis – a 28-year prison term.

The defence has also filed an appeal that argues Mr. Ortis’s right to a fair trial was violated by factors including restrictions placed on his testimony.

Mr. Ortis maintained his innocence and testified in his own defence during his criminal trial. Members of the public, including media, were not permitted to be present in the courtroom for his testimony. Reporters had to rely on transcripts of his testimony. A consortium of media organizations had opposed the exclusion.

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