Wife of former spy watchdog gets bail in money-laundering case in Montreal

MONTREAL – The wife of Canada’s former espionage watchdog has been granted bail with strict conditions after being in jail for more than two months.

Pamela Porter was granted her freedom after a hearing Friday in Quebec Superior Court where she was ordered to post a $250,000 bond and surrender her passport.

Porter is charged with conspiracy and laundering more than $22 million in the construction of a Montreal superhospital.

Under her bail conditions, she is forbidden from contacting her husband Arthur Porter, who also faces charges in the case. She can’t leave Quebec and must report to police twice a week.

Pamela Porter will return to court Sept. 16 for her preliminary hearing.

Justice Johanne St-Gelais said she agreed to the bail request after hearing new evidence but the details are subject to a publication ban.

It was Porter’s second attempt at bail. A first try was rejected on June 25.

Crown prosecutor Claude Dussault did not rule out the possibility of an appeal.

“We have a certain period of time under the law in which to evaluate everything and we’ll see if further proceedings will be taken,” he said. “We’ll use this period to analyze everything and decide if an appeal is appropriate.”

Porter is accused of helping to launder the money for her husband, the former head of the McGill University Health Centre.

He was also head of the federal Security Intelligence Review Committee, the civilian oversight body that monitors CSIS.

Arthur Porter faces several charges related to alleged scams in the awarding of a $1.3-billion Montreal hospital contract, but has said in the past he has done nothing wrong.

His wife has been detained since they were both arrested by authorities in Panama on May 26.

The Porters were arrested separately in Panama on an Interpol warrant. She agreed to return to Canada to face charges while her husband remains in a Panamanian prison as he fights his extradition to Canada.

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