07/24/2012 06:24 EDT | Updated 09/23/2012 05:12 EDT

Australia, Canada discussed navy spy case

Canadian and Australian government officials reportedly discussed the case of a Canadian naval intelligence officer accused of spying following concerns that Australia's security systems may have been compromised.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Louise Hand, Australia's High Commissioner to Canada was briefed by the Canadian government on the case shortly after the arrest of Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Paul Delisle on Jan. 14.

Hand discussed the case with Stephen Rigby, national security adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the paper revealed, using Australia's access-to-information laws.

Hand's "secret-sensitive" report on the briefing was withheld on national security grounds, the paper said.

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) was also briefed on the Delisle case through liaison with its counterpart, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, which also discussed the matter at a security conference attended by ASIO in New Zealand in February, the paper reported.

"Australian security sources have privately acknowledged that the security breach compromised intelligence information and capabilities across Western intelligence agencies, especially in the U.S. and Canada, but also including Australia's top secret Defence Signals Directorate and the Defence Intelligence Organisation," the paper reported.

At a funding announcement in Oshawa, Ont., Harper declined comment on the Australian report, saying he doesn't speak about national security matters.

Delisle is charged with communicating information to a foreign entity that could harm national interests.The 41-year-old security analyst was arrested in January and has been in custody since at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility.

Delisle is alleged to have given or sold information to a foreign entity between July 6, 2007, and Jan. 13, 2012.