UK & World News
Spy Case: Canadian Navy Officer Gets 20 Years
A Canadian navy officer has been sentenced to 20 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine for leaking military secrets to Russia.
Sub-Lieutenant Jeffrey Delisle pleaded guilty in October to breach of trust and passing information to a foreign government.
His sentence is the strongest punishment for espionage in Canada's history, said prosecutor Lyne Decarie.
However, it is still not known what damage, if any, the security lapse caused to Canada or the United States.
Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff, General Tom Lawson, said Delisle's betrayal had struck at the "bedrock" of Canada and its allies' mutual defence, putting their intelligence sharing at risk.
"A critical foundation of our intelligence mission is the mutual trust we have forged with our allies, and other inter-governmental and international partners," General Lawson said in a statement.
"Through his own admission, Sub-Lieutenant Delisle violated that trust, not only with our partners, but also with the people with whom he worked on a daily basis, and with the Canadian Armed Forces as a whole."
Delisle was the first person to be charged under a new Canadian security and intelligence law, which was enacted after the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.
In addition to being sentenced to two decades behind bars, Judge Patrick Curran also slapped the 41-year-old with a $111,523 (£70,588) fine - an amount equal to what he earned while spying.
In a police interrogation video released last week, Delisle said marital woes led him to betray his country.
He said he had considered suicide but chose "professional suicide" instead, out of concern for his children.
Delisle has apologised in court during his trial, saying: "I would like to go back in time, but I can't."
Judge Curran however scolded him at sentencing for "coldly and rationally" offering his services to Moscow.
Delisle was an analyst at the HMCS Trinity in Halifax, a naval intelligence centre that processes data from satellites and drone surveillance from across the north Atlantic region.
While working there, he had access to information from several Nato countries, including the US and Britain.
In 2007, he walked into the Russian embassy in Ottawa and offered his services as a spy.
On Moscow's payroll since then, Delisle saved classified information on a miniature hard drive and sent it once a month to Russia.