Ottawa police launch internal investigation after inquiry hears of leaks to convoy

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The interim chief of the Ottawa Police Service says the power has opened an internal investigation right into a report of police data being leaked to organizers of final winter’s Freedom Convoy protest by officers sympathetic to their trigger.

“The data that was introduced yesterday on the Emergencies Act inquiry was net-new data to us that we had not but investigated and we have already, as of final night time, initiated an internal investigation,” Steve Bell testified Thursday night time to a parliamentary committee. 

Bell added that the police service could be reaching out to lawyer Keith Wilson, who talked about the leaks throughout testimony on the inquiry earlier within the week. 

Wilson, who represents convoy organizers together with Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, testified Wednesday in entrance of the Public Order Emergency Commission, which is reviewing the federal authorities’s determination to invoke emergency powers to clear the crowds and autos that gridlocked the capital’s downtown for greater than three weeks throughout the protest. 

Ottawa Police Service interim Chief Steve Bell reads over paperwork submitted as proof throughout testimony on the Public Order Emergency Commission, Monday, Oct. 24, 2022 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

“There was a gradual stream of of data and leaks coming from all of the totally different police forces and safety companies,” Wilson advised the inquiry. 

“There had been quite a few occasions the place data would come into the operation centre from varied police sources {that a} raid was imminent. And it occurred many occasions.”

CBC News has reached out to Wilson for remark. 

Wilson advised reporters outdoors the inquiry room that data got here from a number of police companies, not simply the Ottawa Police Service. 

The OPS has mentioned it is investigating a small quantity of officers who could have supported the convoy protest from the early days of its occupation of the downtown core.

To date, just one Ottawa police officer has confronted any formal prosecution for involvement within the convoy or the occupation — and that was for donating cash.

Bell’s affirmation of an investigation into the knowledge leaks was made throughout a particular joint committee on the declaration of emergency.

That committee of MPs and senators — which was triggered by the federal authorities’s use of the emergency powers— has been assembly on and off for a number of months.

Those hearings come on high of the continued public inquiry into the use of the emergency powers, which is predicted to hear from dozens extra witnesses over the following two weeks.

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