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"Senior RCMP intelligence director arrested, facing multiple charges"

Retired AF Guy

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daftandbarmy said:
Nicely timed to land on the PM just after he announced the election...

Not that I’m a big JT fan, just seems fishy...

According to a source quoted in the Global News report (see below) Ortis had accumulated "large qualities of information" and was planning on selling the information. So rather then risk losing the information the authorities decided to act right now. 
 

Jarnhamar

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daftandbarmy said:
Nicely timed to land on the PM just after he announced the election...

Not that I’m a big JT fan, just seems fishy...

Unless he had information ON the PM and this was a preemptive move to keep that compromising info under wraps pre-election  :Tin-Foil-Hat:
 

Fishbone Jones

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daftandbarmy said:
Nicely timed to land on the PM just after he announced the election...

Not that I’m a big JT fan, just seems fishy...

Or nicely timed to force the election call to stay ahead of it. And the obstruction and...and....

Given his performances, because that's what they really are, I have no doubt he would have delayed dropping the writ until the last final second, had he not been obliged to try cover his deceit once more.

At any rate, this has just driven another big friggin' nail into the RCMP's casket. Rightly or wrongly, social media is awash with people that consider Commissioner Lucki nothing more than a trudeau appointed bagman carrying his water. Now it appears she's not capable of knowing what is happening in her own echelon.
 

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Your last comment is unfair.  Espionage is a real thing, and no party/government is immune to it.  Remember this guy?
 

OldSolduer

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Infanteer said:
Your last comment is unfair.  Espionage is a real thing, and no party/government is immune to it.  Remember this guy?

It’s usually the “dull” one that makes a good “spy” or someone so trusted. The Communists were very good at it in Britain post WW 2.
 

Fishbone Jones

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Infanteer said:
Your last comment is unfair.  Espionage is a real thing, and no party/government is immune to it.  Remember this guy?

Rightly or wrongly, that is a feeling that's percolating. I'm simply saying what I'm seeing.
 

Remius

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He seems to an expert on central Asia.  His LinkedIn profile states he speaks mandarin.  Not a very far stretch to figure out who he has been working with...
 

Cloud Cover

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Apparently there are investigations ongoing in other countries as a result of the original party who “flipped”. So maybe we might see just where this guy fit in- a lone wolf or part of a network.
 

MarkOttawa

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Or could it involve the Russkies? And the Chicoms separately? Who knows?
RCMP official charged with breaching official secrets law oversaw Russian money-laundering probe

The senior RCMP intelligence official charged with breaching Canada’s official secrets law oversaw a money-laundering probe into allegations that millions in defrauded Russian tax dollars, exposed by Russian tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, were funneled through Canada, The Globe and Mail has learned.

Cameron Jay Ortis, charged by the RCMP this week with illegally storing and communicating classified information, was working on the case as recently as August, a source with knowledge of the matter said. Mr. Ortis, director-general of the RCMP’s National Intelligence Coordination Centre, was planning to meet for a second time with the legal team pursuing the matter alleging more than $14-million in Russian fraud proceeds were tied to Canada, the source added.

Senior RCMP official charged in breaching Security of Information Act known as secretive, friends say
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-senior-rcmp-official-charged-in-breaching-security-of-information-act/

The money is part of a $230-million tax fraud scheme uncovered by Mr. Magnitsky, who was hired by U.S.-born financier and anti-Putin campaigner Bill Browder to track down the stolen funds in 2005. Mr. Magnitsky was beaten to death by Moscow prison staff in 2009 after accusing Russian officials of theft in the matter.

Mr. Ortis was joined by several RCMP officials when he met with Mr. Browder and his team on February 7, 2017 to discuss the 440-page money-laundering complaint filed to the RCMP, the source said. Mr. Browder’s team handed over 1,000 pages worth of evidence during that meeting. The complaint was originally filed with the RCMP on October 21, 2016. The Mounties have not opened a formal investigation into the matter.

Reached by The Globe Saturday, Mr. Browder had no comment.

Mr. Browder has led the international effort to sanction human-rights abusers worldwide, in memory of Mr. Magnitsky. Mr. Browder hired Mr. Magnitsky in 2005 as the lawyer for his then-Moscow-based Hermitage Capital Management hedge fund. Investigations by Russia's human-rights council eventually concluded Mr. Magnitsky was beaten to death by Russian prison staff.

Mr. Ortis’ arrest Thursday raised fears of a massive security breach at the national police force that stands to affect the operations of law-enforcement agencies in Canada and around the world. The 47-year-old faces seven charges under the Security of Information Act and the Criminal Code in relation to alleged infractions between 2015 and 2019. He appeared in court on Friday.

According to documents filed in court, he is charged under the act with obtaining and preparing information for the purpose of communication with a foreign entity or terrorist group, and communicating or confirming “special operational information” to an unspecified entity or individual. He is also charged under the Criminal Code with breach of trust.

Paul Evans, a University of British Columbia professor who served on the doctoral dissertations committee for Mr. Ortis’ PhD thesis and wrote a pair of essays with him, said on Saturday that the accused is a “very fine Canadian” and that it is difficult to believe he is guilty of the charges against him.

“Nothing in my experience with Cameron would lead me to suspect he would be (in) any way involved in activities that would lead to such charges,” Mr. Evans said in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail.

Mr. Evans said he had seen Mr. Ortis socially in recent years after Mr. Ortis began working in Ottawa.

“He did not discuss the details of his work and throughout was an exemplar of discretion and integrity in our interactions.”

The professor in the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, a teacher of Asian and trans-Pacific Affair, said Friday’s news of legal proceedings against Mr. Ortis was a surprise.

“Like others who knew him well, I was shocked by the news of the arrest of a very fine Canadian.”
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-rcmp-official-charged-with-breaching-official-secrets-law-oversaw/

Mark
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Infanteer

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Fishbone Jones said:
Rightly or wrongly, that is a feeling that's percolating. I'm simply saying what I'm seeing.

https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/gossip.html
 

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One of the guy's cases ...
A senior intelligence official has been arrested in Canada and charged with disclosing classified information to an unspecified foreign entity.

Cameron Jay Ortis, the director general of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police intelligence unit, appeared in court on September 13 to face charges under three sections of the Security of Information Act and two Criminal Code provisions.

Prosecutors said only that Ortis is accused of obtaining, storing, and processing classified information with the intention of communicating it to a foreign entity.

The Toronto-based Globe And Mail reported on September 14 that one of the many high-profile cases that Ortis was involved in was looking into whether any money from a massive Russian corruption case first uncovered by lawyer Sergei Magnitsky had been funneled through or into Canada.

Bill Browder, the head of Hermitage Capital, which employed Magnitsky, posted on Twitter on September 14 that Ortis's arrest was "unbelievable." ...
... with that interesting Twitter post (attached) pointing to this piece ...
A Swiss cop is under investigation for meeting with a Russian lawyer at the center of the infamous Trump Tower meeting.

The cop, a money-laundering investigator, had a brief meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya in Moscow in December 2016, sources told Fox News. That unauthorized and questionable meeting is now being probed by Swiss prosecutors, who are trying to determine whether she was trying to "turn" Swiss law enforcement or attempting to recover a client's account that was frozen in Switzerland.

Although small in size, Switzerland controls approximately $2.5 trillion dollars in global offshore assets -- a whopping 25 percent of such monies and assets and proudly claims secrecy and discretion for anyone who chooses to bank there.

Suspects in criminal cases are also afforded privacy in Switzerland and Fox New is calling the investigator “Mr. K.” The Swiss Prosecutor’s Office will only say that he is the subject of a criminal investigation. But sources tell Fox News he is being investigated for “corruption, abuse of power, and violating professional secrets.”

He was fired from his office after traveling to Moscow in late December of 2016, against the will of his boss, and largely on the dime of the Russians.

Senator Chuck Grassley is seeking clarity, asking why banned Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with Donald Trump Jr at Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential election, was allowed to enter the United States

“Mr.K.” is a federal police officer—one of the few in the department who speaks Russian. He has been at the center of the important Swiss cases involving Russian money laundering ...
... and an update on where he is court-wise:
... Ortis, 47, made a brief court appearance in Ottawa court on Friday afternoon.

He will be held in custody pending a bail hearing on federal secrecy charges under the Security of Information Act alleging he shared “special operational information,” and two Criminal Code offences including breach of trust and forgery.

Ortis said little apart from his name and that he understood the charges against him in his first appearance Friday as federal prosecutors sought to keep him in custody while he retains a lawyer. He was represented by an assigned duty counsel Friday as he appeared from the Elgin Street courthouse cell block.

Federal Crown prosecutor John MacFarlane said Ortis was arrested Thursday, and that the Crown will argue he should remain in custody at his upcoming Sept. 20 bail hearing ...
 

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The Bread Guy

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More from the NY Times, shared under the Fair Dealing provisions of Canada's Copyright Act:
Top Canadian Intelligence Official Charged With Leaking Secrets
By Ian Austen, New York Times, Sept. 14, 2019

A top intelligence official with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who had access to a wide array of highly sensitive information gathered by Canada and its allies has been charged with passing along or offering secrets.

The official, Cameron Ortis, the director general of the force’s National Intelligence Coordination Center, faces three charges under a rarely used national secrets law. Arrested on Friday, he also faces criminal charges of breach of trust and unauthorized use of a computer.

“He would have had at least top-secret clearance and he would have had access to a great deal of sensitive information,” said Wesley Wark, a visiting research professor at the University of Ottawa who studies intelligence and national security. “This has the appearance of a long investigation and the longer these investigations go, the more likely it is that it involved allied partners.”

The charges indicate that Mr. Ortis is accused of passing on or offering secrets in 2015, and then gathering information in 2018 and this year with an intent to do the same.

Officials disclosed virtually no details of the case, including the supposed recipient of the secrets. John MacFarlane, a prosecutor, told reporters outside court on Friday that Mr. Ortis intended to “communicate that information with people he shouldn’t be communicating to.”

According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr. Ortis speaks Mandarin and joined the government in 2007. For his doctorate at the University of British Columbia, Mr. Ortis wrote a highly technical dissertation examining governmental control of the internet in Asia and its abuse by criminal organizations there.

Mr. Ortis joined the national police force’s intelligence division at a time of great upheaval, Mr. Wark said. After performing only limited intelligence work for decades, the national force tried to greatly expand its capabilities after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

But a high-profile inquiry in 2006 found that the police erroneously concluded that a Canadian computer engineer was an Al Qaeda member and had passed along that false information to the United States. The engineer, Maher Arar, was arrested while changing planes in the United States and deported to Syria, where he was imprisoned for a year and tortured.

The aftermath of that affair included a major shake-up of the Mounties’ intelligence operation, which occurred about the time Mr. Ortis was hired. Mr. Wark said that it was unlikely Mr. Ortis was hired for his cybersecurity expertise because that was not a priority for the force in 2007.

“He may well have been brought into the R.C.M.P. because he was spotted as a bright young man,” Mr. Wark said. He added that it was very unusual for a civilian to hold a senior post like director general within the police force.

The Mounties declined to comment on Mr. Ortis’s status, although they did issue a brief statement in which he was called “an employee.”

In his director general position, Mr. Ortis would have been able to use a special system called the Canadian Top Secret Network, which is sometimes referred to as Mandrake, Mr. Wark said.

The network links more than 20 Canadian departments and agencies involved in intelligence gathering and distills the most important secret information, according to Mr. Wark. That includes intelligence gathered in a joint effort known as “Five Eyes” that involves the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, he added. Details on how the intelligence has been acquired are not usually included in the system.

If Mr. Ortis’s case goes to trial, the government will face a dilemma over how to protect the secrets he is accused of dealing.

Michael Nesbitt, a professor at the University of Calgary law school who specializes in national security, said that while evidence presented at trial may be subject to a publication ban, prosecutors cannot use any material that is not shared with Mr. Ortis’s lawyers. That may be difficult if it involves evidence from a foreign intelligence agency that does not want it exposed under any circumstances.

“At the end of the day, if the court orders disclosure of secret information, we keep it secret by pulling the case,” Mr. Nesbitt said. “Unfortunately, we have seen a few national security cases, particularly civil claims, not make it to court in the past decade or so.”

This from The Canadian Press ...
A professor who once worked with an RCMP intelligence official charged with breaching Canada’s secrets law says the man seemed to be an “exemplar of discretion.”

Paul Evans, a political science professor at the University of British Columbia, says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee and worked with him on several projects.

(...)

Evans says he worked with Ortis at UBC over the course of several years, and they later met socially from time to time.

He says that after Ortis took up his RCMP position in Ottawa, he never discussed the specifics of his work.

“He did not discuss the details of his work and throughout was an exemplar of discretion and integrity in our interactions,” he said in a written statement.

“Nothing in my experience with Cameron would lead me to suspect he would be any way involved in activities that would lead to such charges,” he added. “Like others who know him well, I was shocked by the news of the arrest of a very fine Canadian.”

(...)
... and this from the CBC, via Yahoo.ca:
Members of the Five Eyes intelligence bloc are already raising questions about the type of information accessible to Cameron Ortis as the director of an intelligence unit within the RCMP, diplomatic sources tell CBC News.

The Five Eyes, made up of Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, is one of the world's leading intelligence-sharing networks, linking some of the most powerful countries in the world.

Diplomatic sources speaking to CBC on condition of anonymity said the alliance is worried that Ortis, charged under Canada's national secrets act, had access to their allied information.

(...)

Diplomatic sources said the Five Eyes alliance is waiting for a formal damage assessment from the public safety minister's office, and said some members are already questioning how Ortis was able to hoard information within the RCMP. 

"There's really no overstating what he could have had access to. The devil is in the details on what he actually took," said former CSIS analyst Jessica Davis.

"This could range from somewhat injurious to seriously detrimental to our national security and the partnerships we have with our allies."

The alliance isn't in full panic mode, sources say, since the charge sheet suggests Ortis was stopped before he actually shared information.

However, a government source who was briefed on the Ortis case said Canadian officials are worried because he was known as "the China expert." ...
More @ links
 

MarkOttawa

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Meanwhile chez the FBI--start of very major piece:

Exclusive: Russia carried out a 'stunning' breach of FBI communications system, escalating the spy game on U.S. soil

On Dec. 29, 2016, the Obama administration announced that it was giving nearly three dozen Russian diplomats just 72 hours to leave the United States and was seizing two rural East Coast estates owned by the Russian government. As the Russians burned papers and scrambled to pack their bags, the Kremlin protested the treatment of its diplomats, and denied that those compounds — sometimes known as the “dachas” — were anything more than vacation spots for their personnel.

The Obama administration’s public rationale for the expulsions and closures — the harshest U.S. diplomatic reprisals taken against Russia in several decades — was to retaliate for Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. But there was another critical, and secret, reason why those locations and diplomats were targeted.

Both compounds, and at least some of the expelled diplomats, played key roles in a brazen Russian counterintelligence operation that stretched from the Bay Area to the heart of the nation’s capital, according to former U.S. officials. The operation, which targeted FBI communications, hampered the bureau’s ability to track Russian spies on U.S. soil at a time of increasing tension with Moscow, forced the FBI and CIA to cease contact with some of their Russian assets, and prompted tighter security procedures at key U.S. national security facilities in the Washington area and elsewhere, according to former U.S. officials. It even raised concerns among some U.S. officials about a Russian mole within the U.S. intelligence community [emphasis added].

“It was a very broad effort to try and penetrate our most sensitive operations,” said a former senior CIA official.

American officials discovered that the Russians had dramatically improved their ability to decrypt certain types of secure communications and had successfully tracked devices used by elite FBI surveillance teams. Officials also feared that the Russians may have devised other ways to monitor U.S. intelligence communications, including hacking into computers not connected to the internet. Senior FBI and CIA officials briefed congressional leaders on these issues as part of a wide-ranging examination on Capitol Hill of U.S. counterintelligence vulnerabilities.

These compromises, the full gravity of which became clear to U.S. officials in 2012, gave Russian spies in American cities including Washington, New York and San Francisco key insights into the location of undercover FBI surveillance teams, and likely the actual substance of FBI communications, according to former officials. They provided the Russians opportunities to potentially shake off FBI surveillance and communicate with sensitive human sources, check on remote recording devices and even gather intelligence on their FBI pursuers, the former officials said...
https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-russia-carried-out-a-stunning-breach-of-fbi-communications-system-escalating-the-spy-game-on-us-soil-090024212.html

Mark
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More from the Mounties, this time from the Commish
The charges against a senior employee of the RCMP for alleged criminality under the Criminal Code and the Security of Information Act have shaken many people throughout the RCMP, particularly in Federal Policing. As you can appreciate, the charges have not been proven in court and there is a need to protect the ongoing investigation and allow due process to occur.

On Thursday, September 12th, 2019 the RCMP arrested Cameron Ortis, Director General of the RCMP's National Intelligence Coordination Centre. He has been employed by the RCMP since 2007 and has held positions in Operations Research and National Security Criminal Investigations. By virtue of the positions he held, Mr. Ortis had access to information the Canadian intelligence community possessed. He also had access to intelligence coming from our allies both domestically and internationally. This level of access is appropriate given the positions he held.

This is an ongoing investigation and we are assessing the impacts of the alleged activities as information becomes available. We are aware of the potential risk to agency operations of our partners in Canada and abroad and we thank them for their continued collaboration. We assure you that mitigation strategies are being put in place as required.

While these allegations, if proven true, are extremely unsettling, Canadians and our law enforcement partners can trust that our priority continues to be the integrity of the investigations and the safety and security of the public we serve.

Brenda Lucki
Commissioner
 

The Bread Guy

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The latest
Lawyers anticipate a lengthy 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 today via video link.

Defence lawyer Ian Carter says he has received sufficient information from the Crown about the case to begin discussing the timing of a multi-day bail hearing for his client with prosecutor John MacFarlane ...
Bit more backstory @ link
 

The Bread Guy

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Bail hearing coming 17-18 October ...
An RCMP employee charged with breaching the official-secrets law will get a chance next week to argue he should be released on bail.

A bail hearing is set for Oct. 17 and 18 for Cameron Jay Ortis, who was arrested almost a month ago.

Ortis, 47, made his fifth appearance in Ontario court Wednesday via video link from the maximum-security wing of an Ottawa jail ...
 
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