The RCMP have laid additional charges against Cameron Ortis, the former head of the national police force’s intelligence unit who is already awaiting trial on charges of leaking sensitive information.
The three new charges, filed under the Security of Information Act, relate to the allegedly unauthorized communication of operational information. The charges were filed last week against Mr. Ortis, said Nathalie Houle of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.
Ms. Houle said the Crown will proceed in this case by direct indictment, avoiding a preliminary hearing. Mr. Ortis’s next court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday in Ottawa.
The new charges are in addition to the seven charges already laid against Mr. Ortis under the Criminal Code and the Security of Information Act.
The RCMP arrested Mr. Ortis in September. According to court documents, the RCMP allege that Mr. Ortis communicated special operational information and prepared information for the purpose of communicating with a foreign entity or terrorist group.
Many details of the investigation against him are covered by a publication ban imposed during his bail hearing last fall.
At the time of his arrest, Mr. Ortis was the director-general of the RCMP’s national intelligence co-ordination centre. The job gave him access to highly classified documents generated by the RCMP, other Canadian intelligence agencies and law-enforcement agencies from allied countries.
Mr. Ortis is no longer in this position, but officially remains an employee of the RCMP.
He has yet to enter a plea as his defence team is still waiting to receive the full disclosure of documents from prosecutors. The date for the start of the trial has yet to be set.
Mr. Ortis is currently detained in Ottawa after being released for a short period on bail last fall.
On Oct. 22, Mr. Ortis was released from custody by Justice of the Peace Serge Legault. As part of his bail, Mr. Ortis was forbidden from using equipment capable of connecting to the internet and was required to reside at his parents’ home in Abbotsford, B.C., under their constant supervision.
On Nov. 8, Ontario Superior Court Justice Marc Labrosse reversed the decision and Mr. Ortis was quickly brought back in detention.
A native of Abbotsford, Mr. Ortis graduated from the University of British Columbia with a doctorate in political science and an interest in security in the digital age.
A civilian inside the RCMP, Mr. Ortis was so well-regarded as an intelligence analyst that some of his superiors wanted to send him for a shortened stint in police training and turn him into a cop. The plan was supported by then-RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson, but met with opposition in the upper echelons of the national police force, current and retired RCMP officials have told The Globe and Mail.
Now retired, Mr. Paulson said last year that Mr. Ortis was “an impressive analyst.”
“I thought he was just really, really bright; he had a tremendous work ethic and an intensity in his analysis that led to his rise in terms of leadership,” Mr. Paulson said.