Thursday, November 16, 2006
Debatably a hanging offense.
(CC NEWS) -- In a shocking reminder of the old days of the Cold War, Canadian authorities arrested a suspected Russian spy as he was about to board a plane out of the country.
The man, who had been living in Canada under the name Paul William Hampel, was taken into custody on Tuesday at Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Dorval, Quebec.
According to Canada's Minister of Justice and Attorney General Vic Toews, Hampel, under interrogation, admitted to having been sent to Canada to snoop on "Canada's New Government" and steal any information related to the Conservative Party of Canada's new policies on women's rights, gay tolerance and environmental protection.
Toews suggested that, given the severity of the crime and the inherent value of the data collected by Hampel, he was recommending a sentence of 10 days in prison for Hampel, to be served on alternate weekends and followed by 100 hours of community service. Hampel's lawyer, horrified by the unfairness of the sentence, has already promised to appeal.
Canadian security officials are still uncertain how Hampel planned on smuggling the stolen information out of the country and continued to search his luggage for high-tech items such as microdots and encoded data but found nothing out of the ordinary, although they admit being puzzled by the presence of both a postage stamp and a shaving brush.