October 11, 2012 - 14:10 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A Canadian naval officer arrested on suspicion of espionage pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges of selling classified information to the Russian military, RIA Novosti reported citing Canada’s CBC television network.
Sub-Lieutenant Jeffrey Paul Delisle, 41, who served at a Canadian naval intelligence center in Halifax, was arrested in January this year.
Federal Crown attorney Lyne Decarie, who outlined the prosecution’s case against Delisle at a hearing in March, said he provided his Russian handlers with material downloaded from the computer system at the HMCS Trinity intelligence facility, which shares information with intelligence communities in the US, UK and other countries.
Prosecutors allege that his Russian handlers paid Delisle $3,000 a month for the information, which was mainly military intelligence but also included reports on organized crime as well as personal information on politicians and senior members of the intelligence community.
Delisle’s spying, which apparently began in 2007, caused “severe and irreparable damage to Canadian interests,” prosecutors said.
Delisle has confessed via his lawyer to all the allegations, CBC said.
Sentencing is scheduled to begin on January 10. Delisle faces life in prison for “passing secrets to the enemy.”
The charges were brought under the information security law adopted in December 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
Delisle came under suspicion last autumn after Canadian customs officials found that he had returned from a four-day trip to Brazil with $10,000 in cash and $40,000 in prepaid debit cards, which he had in fact received from a Russian contact in Rio de Janeiro, according to the allegations.
The matter was turned over to the RCMP, which surreptitiously hijacked the e-mail address that Delisle used to send the secret material to his handlers.
He was arrested and charged on January 13.