Politics

New defence lawyer takes on high-profile case of RCMP official accused of leaking secrets

Cameron Ortis, the RCMP official accused of preparing to leak sensitive information, has a new lawyer as his case moves toward a trial date later this year.

An eight-week criminal trial is scheduled to start in September

Cameron Ortis, a senior intelligence official at the RCMP, walks away from the courthouse in Ottawa with his lawyer Ian Carter, right, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. Carter has since been appointed to the bench. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Cameron Ortis, the RCMP official accused of preparing to leak sensitive information, has a new lawyer as his case moves toward a trial date later this year.

Earlier this week, Attorney General David Lametti announced that Ian Carter, who has defended Ortis since his arrest back in 2019, has been appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Ottawa.

Jon Doody, who works at Carter's firm, is taking over Ortis' defence.

Ortis, who served as director general of the RCMP's national intelligence co-ordination centre, is charged with violating the Security of Information Act. He is accused of trying to share sensitive information with a foreign entity or terrorist organization and has been charged also with sharing operational information in 2015.

An eight-week criminal trial is scheduled to start Sept. 6.

Despite the personnel change, Doody said the plan is to stick to the same trial dates.

Secretive hearing underway this month 

The Federal Court has been looking into whether sensitive and potentially injurious information could be disclosed in open court during Ortis' trial.

Federal Court Justice John Norris has ruled that some of the sensitive information in Ortis' case can't be disclosed, although his reasons are covered by a publication ban.

Carter had been seeking to have at least part of the case against Ortis stayed on the grounds that his client has the right to a fair trial.

A Canada Evidence Act hearing — meant to balance protection of national security with the constitutional right of the accused to a fair trial — is set to take place behind closed doors later this month. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catharine Tunney is a reporter with CBC's Parliament Hill bureau, where she covers national security and the RCMP. She worked previously for CBC in Nova Scotia. You can reach her at catharine.tunney@cbc.ca

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