Canadian officer who spied for Russia jailed for 20 years

Fri Feb 8, 2013 3:17pm EST
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By Eric Martyn

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (Reuters) - A Canadian naval officer who handed over secrets to Russia for more than four years, damaging Canada's relations with the United States and other key allies, was jailed for 20 years on Friday.

Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Delisle, dressed in a blue hooded sweatshirt and jeans, showed no reaction when found guilty of breach of trust and handing information to a foreign entity that could harm national interests.

He was also fined C$111,817, the sum he received from his Russian spy masters.

Delisle, 41, worked at a security unit in Halifax that tracked vessels entering and exiting Canadian waters. He stole secret information by copying it onto a computer memory stick.

Officials told a sentencing hearing last week that allies had threatened to withhold intelligence from Canada unless it tightened security procedures.

Canada shares sensitive information with the United States, Britain, New Zealand and Australia.

General Tom Lawson, chief of the Canadian defense staff, said Canada was boosting security in the wake of what he called Delisle's odious behavior.

"A critical foundation of our intelligence mission is the mutual trust we have forged with our allies ... Sub-Lieutenant Delisle failed each and every Canadian," he said in a statement.   Continued...

Jeffrey Paul Delisle arrives for his sentencing at the provincial court in Halifax, Nova Scotia February 8, 2013. REUTERS/Devaan Ingraham