National Newswatch

HALIFAX — Convicted spy Jeffrey Delisle, who sold Western military secrets to Russia, has been granted full parole.

A decision from the Parole Board of Canada said it was satisfied that the risk posed by the former Canadian naval intelligence officer could be properly managed through full parole, which was granted March 5.

"Despite your very serious offences, your sources of support still see you as a good person who has the capacity to change, and to live in society as a law-abiding, productive and contributing member of society," the decision said.

"Throughout the vast majority of your life, you demonstrated the ability to live in society in a law-abiding manner, and the board believes you have the ability to do so again, as long as the proper support systems and supervision structures are in place."

Sentenced in 2013 to 20 years in prison, Delisle was granted day parole in August, with about one third of his sentence completed.

He started selling military secrets to Russia in 2007, but wasn't caught until 2011 when the FBI tipped off the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

Delisle, who is in his mid-40s, pleaded guilty to regularly passing classified intelligence to Russia in exchange for cash.

The naval threat assessment analyst used floppy discs and memory sticks to smuggle information out of Halifax's HMCS Trinity, the military intelligence centre on the East Coast.

In the board's August decision granting day parole, it said Delisle had been a "model inmate," but noted police were "not supportive" of Delisle's release.

Delisle has said his motives for spying were not financial, saying his decision to approach the Russians was aimed at "career suicide."

The board noted that his marriage had failed and he sought to re-establish his self-esteem by offering to spy for the Russians. It said he wanted to "tear" off all that was good about himself, because these positive attributes had been rejected by the person he trusted most.

"You have stated ... you were deliberately trying to leave an obvious trail in hopes of being caught," the board said in its ruling. "Essentially, you turned to crime and very risky behaviour in an attempt to manage personal turmoil."

The report said Delisle had learned to focus more on himself, and less on blaming his ex-wife for his crimes. It noted that he acknowledged his spying could have harmed colleagues and others.

The most recent parole board decision said Delisle will be living with his "intimate partner," and must follow the treatment plan arranged by his parole supervisor.

"Negative emotions and a criminally oriented attitude were contributors to your current serious offences," it said.

"In order to continue to make progress in your case and to avoid a return to such negative emotions, following a treatment plan to address these factors is seen as an integral component of your risk management strategy."

The judge presiding over the case said at the time his sentence would be 18 years and five months, because of time served.

The Canadian Press

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