Canadian Spy Damaged Country's Credibility

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — A top Canadian spy official told a court Thursday that a navy officer who sold secrets to Russia harmed his country’s credibility and could hinder its ability to gather intelligence.

Speaking at a sentencing hearing, Michelle Tessier, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s director general of internal security, said Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Paul Delisle’s crimes could make allies less likely to share intelligence with Canada in the future. “There’s a risk we might be cut off of certain intelligence,” Tessier said.

Delisle, who pleaded guilty in October, worked at a naval intelligence center and had access to information shared by the Five Eyes community, which consists of Canada, the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

Prosecutor Lyne Decarie said Delisle received 23 payments from Russia totaling $72,000 between 2007 and 2011.

Tessier said that the Five Eyes group decided to “increase the safeguarding of information” following Delisle’s actions and that a lot of resources were diverted to reassuring Canada’s allies that their information is safe.

Delisle will be sentenced under Canada’s Security of Information Act, which was passed after the Sept. 11 attacks. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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