Jeffrey Delisle, Canadian Spy, Could Be Free in Six Years

Published:3:36 pm EDT, February 20, 2013| Updated:3:36 pm EDT, February 20, 2013|
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Jeffrey Delisle

Jeffrey Delisle, the former Canadian naval officer who plead guilty to spying for Russia, was sentenced to 20 years in prison but will likely be eligible for full parole in only six years.

Delisle, formerly a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Navy, was convicted of passing sensitive information about NATO allies from the top-secret STONEGHOST intelligence database to Russia’s GRU spy agency.

On February 8, 2013, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison minus time served by Nova Scotia court Judge Patrick Curran. Those guidelines would have seen him released in 18 years and five months, but Canada’s Parole Board ignited controversy when it revealed to The Canadian Press that he would be eligible for unescorted temporary leaves in March 2016 and day parole in September 2018.

Full parole would be a possibility only a year later.

Parole is decided in Canada after the case is heard in a hearing held by the board.

During his interrogation, Delisle claimed that his motivation for selling state secrets – the Russians paid him $3,000 a month – was the discovery that his wife was having an affair. They separated in June 2008 and Delisle filed for divorce in May 2010.

The FBI triggered a Canadian investigation into his espionage in December 2011. He has since said that the information he passed on to the Russians was not about Canada.

It was never really Canadian stuff... There was American stuff, there was some British stuff, Australian stuff – it was everybody’s stuff.

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