Cameron Ortis Trial: Week 1
What we learned at trial
Last week was week 1 of Cameron Ortis’s trial. He was arrested as part of Project Ace on 12 September, 2019. He was the Director General of the RCMP’s National Intelligence Co-ordination Centre at the time of his arrest, and is currently facing charges under the Security of Information Act relating to unauthorized disclosure of special operational information (specifically to criminal entities). This newsletter provides a short overview of what we learned during the first week of his trial.
For background on the case, you can read our Project Ace newsletter here:
When Ortis’ trial began, he was facing six charges, primarily for activities that took place between 1 January 2014 and May 2015. This is a much-reduced time-frame and number of charges than what we originally saw. While it’s unclear why the charges were changed, it might have to do with the sensitive nature of the information that will need to be provided in this case (classified intelligence), and limiting the availability of that information as well as RCMP (and other) operational capabilities.
The trial began with a 500+ page agreed statement of facts. In that statement, there is agreement on the content of all the exhibits, the nature of Ortis’s employment, his access and use of RCMP technology, the searched for and saved classified information to a Tails USB, and the fact that he was permanently bound to secrecy as part of his job (among other things). This raises the question of exactly what Ortis isn’t admitting to, which we will discuss below.