Spy expert says Delisle case likely won't see trial

Jeffrey Paul Delisle jumps out of a Sheriff van after arriving at the provincial court in Halifax...

Jeffrey Paul Delisle jumps out of a Sheriff van after arriving at the provincial court in Halifax on February 28, 2012. Delisle, who was a naval intelligence officer, faces charges of giving secret information to a foreign entity. (REUTERS/Paul Darrow)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:28 AM ET

The case of Sub.-Lt. Jeffrey Delisle, the navy officer accused of spying, has been delayed again.

He was expected to enter a plea Wednesday on two charges under the Security of Information Act and a criminal charge of breach of trust. Instead, lawyers will use the next couple of weeks to gather more paperwork and meet in court again July 17.

The case against the 41-year-old Nova Scotian, has been repeatedly delayed since his arrest in January.

Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a career operative with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and an expert in espionage and security-related issues, told QMI Agency he doesn't think Delisle's case will go to trial.

"It is of no interest to Canadian national security to have him going to trial and to expose publicly what happened and how it happened," Juneau-Katsuya said.

Both our allies and our enemies are watching closely, he said, to see how Canada deals with the damage that could have done.

The Russians, to whom Delisle is accused of passing military secrets, may want to find out where things went wrong, "so they can improve their technique and improve their strategy next time," he said.

The military made a mistake in sending the case to civilian criminal court rather than military court martial, which would have remained sealed, he said.

Delisle was working at Trinity, the navy's intelligence centre in Halifax, when he was arrested Jan. 13. He was denied bail and has remained in custody.

He worked in Kingston, Ont., and in Ottawa for both the chief of defence intelligence and at the Strategic Joint Staff before returning to Trinity, which, along with allied maritime intelligence and the coast guard, tracks ship traffic in the Atlantic.

He could face a life sentence if convicted under the Security of Information Act.


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