man in uniform standing on sidewalk
Photo by Nigel Nyumbu on

The former head of Canada's federal police intelligence unit, accused of leaking top secret information to targets of investigations, "is no enemy of Canada," his defense lawyer said Thursday.

Cameron Ortis, 51, was the director general of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's national intelligence coordination unit until his arrest in September 2020.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges of trying to sell sensitive secrets from Canada and the powerful Five Eyes intelligence alliance -- to which Canada belongs with Australia, the United States, Britain and New Zealand -- to individuals linked to criminal groups.

Defense lawyer Mark Ertel told the jury ahead of Ortis's in-camera testimony on Thursday that the accused would say "he protected Canada from serious and imminent threats."

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