Canadian spy discharged from navy

A Canadian Navy officer convicted of spying for Russia has been stripped of his rank and kicked out of the military, Defense Minister Peter MacKay announced Wednesday.

Sub-Lieutenant Jeffrey Delisle pleaded guilty in October to passing secrets to a foreign government. He was sentenced last week to 20 years in prison -- the strongest punishment for espionage in Canadian history.

"Mr Delisle's unauthorized disclosure of secret information is intolerable, inexcusable and inconsistent with the integrity and loyalty that Canadians expect from their men and women in uniform," MacKay said in a statement.

Consequently, said the minister, Delisle has been relieved of military duty and his commission has been revoked, on the recommendation of Chief of Defense Staff General Tom Lawson.

Delisle was the first person to be charged under a new Canadian security and intelligence law rolled out after the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

Lawson has said Delisle's betrayal struck at the "bedrock" of Canada and its allies' mutual defense, putting their intelligence sharing at risk.

In addition to two decades behind bars, the 41-year-old was also slapped with a Can$111,817 (US$111,523) fine -- an amount equal to what he earned while spying.