Updated: Crown says navy officer was paid nearly $72,000 for selling secrets to Russia

HALIFAX – A Halifax navy intelligence officer convicted of espionage was paid nearly $72,000 for selling secrets to the Russians, the Crown said as a two-day sentencing hearing for Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Paul Delisle got underway Thursday.

Lyne Decarie told the provincial court that Delisle received 23 payments totalling $71,817 from 2007 until 2011 for his services.

Decarie said Delisle, who sat in the courtroom alongside his defence lawyer wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt as she laid out her case, walked into the Russian Embassy in Ottawa in July 2007 to offer his services for money.

She said Russian agents told him to provide a “manuscript” on the 10th of each month with information pertaining to Russia.

Decarie said Delisle came under the suspicion of the Canada Border Services Agency after returning to the country from a trip to Brazil in September 2011. He had no tan, little awareness of the tourist sites in Rio de Janeiro, three prepaid credit cards, thousands of dollars in US currency and a handwritten note with a email address, Decarie said.

She outlined how Delisle acquired and then transferred classified information to the Russians by searching references to Russia, copying them onto a floppy disc on his secure system at work, took it to an unsecure system and pasted it onto a USB stick.

He then took the information home and copied it into a email address that he shared with his Russian agent, so he never had to send the email, Decarie said.

After Decarie outlined her case, the judge asked Delisle whether he had read and consented to the agreed statement of facts presented to the court.

“Yes, your honour,” he quietly replied.

Delisle pleaded guilty in October to one charge of breach of trust and two charges of passing information to a foreign entity that could harm Canada’s interests. He is the first person to be sentenced under Canada’s Security of Information Act.

The breach of trust charge carries a maximum sentence of five years, while the other charges carry life sentences.

Delisle joined the navy as a reservist in 1996, became a member of the regular forces in 2001 and promoted to an officer rank in 2008. He was arrested last January.


Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.