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Canadian Officer Charged With Spying, Reportedly for Moscow

Jeffrey Paul Delisle being escorted from a court in Halifax on Tuesday. Andrew Vaughan

OTTAWA — A Canadian naval intelligence officer has been charged with handing over secrets to another country — reported by Canadian television to be Russia.

Jeffrey Paul Delisle faces charges for giving "a foreign entity" secret information between July 6, 2007, and Jan. 13, 2012. He was arrested in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and will stay in jail until his next hearing on Jan. 25.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. cited military officials as saying Delisle worked for a unit that tracked vessels entering and exiting Canadian waters. It said the unit had access to secret data from NATO countries.

"Let me assure you our allies have full confidence in Canada," said Defense Minister Peter MacKay.

He declined to confirm the CTV report that said Delisle had given secrets to Russia.

Delisle — also suspected of trying to leak information to an unnamed nation as recently as last week — is the first person charged under a new secrecy law enacted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

General Walt Natynczyk, Canada's chief of defense, is in Brussels for a meeting of senior military officials, but security considerations mean he will not be able to say very much about the Delisle case, a spokesman said.

"It would not be discussed indiscriminately without due regard for the integrity of the investigation here in Canada and the need to continue to maintain intelligence security," Lieutenant-Commander Kris Phillips said.

Canada's conservative government has had chilly relations with Moscow since it took power in 2006, complaining about "increasingly aggressive Russian actions around the globe."

In 2006, Ottawa said it would deport a man it accused of being a Russian spy and who had lived in Canada under a false identity for more than 10 years.

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