Officer accused of spying may have sold UK secrets
HIGHLY classified British intelligence may have been compromised by a Canadian naval officer who was arrested earlier this year for allegedly leaking national secrets to Russia.
Sub-Lieutenant Jeffrey Paul Delisle, who worked in the Canadian navy's intelligence and communications centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was arrested in January, and is accused of gathering information from the interception of radio and radar signals and selling it to Russian diplomats.
But a report in the 'Sydney Morning Herald' yesterday, citing Australian security sources, said Sub-Lieut Delisle (41) had wide access to data and that much of the material he allegedly sold was more highly classified than the leaks allegedly made to WikiLeaks by US private Bradley Manning in 2010.
Sub-Lieut Delisle reportedly had access to signals intelligence collected by the 'Five Eyes' intelligence community.
Five Eyes covers information from Britain's Government Communications Headquarters, the US National Security Agency, Canada's Communications Security Establishment, Australia's Defence Signals and New Zealand's Communications Security Bureau.
Sub-Lieutenant Delisle was arrested on January 14.
He faces possible life imprisonment for the charges laid against him in Canada.
Documents released under Australian freedom of information laws reportedly showed that shortly after Sub-Lieut Delisle's arrest, Louise Hand, Australia's High Commissioner to Canada, discussed the leaks with Stephen Rigby, the national security adviser to Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister.
While the alleged leaks are said to have sent shock waves through Western security agencies, leaders of the countries involved have not been drawn on the issue.
Julia Gillard, the Australian prime minister, refused to comment, but added: "I can certainly assure people that our national security arrangements are robust and can be relied upon."
UK intelligence sources said they were unable to comment.
Security experts said the breach had damaged Canada's security relations with some of its key allies. (© Daily Telegraph, London)