Chinese foreign interference: Retired Mountie William Majcher granted bail in Quebec
The Canadian PressNews rcmp
By Sidhartha Banerjee in Longueuil
A former RCMP officer charged with helping China conduct foreign interference was granted bail on Tuesday with conditions that forbid him from leaving the country.
William Majcher is charged under the Security of Information Act with conspiracy and with committing preparatory acts for the benefit of a foreign entity. Majcher, 60, was arrested Thursday in Vancouver and released from detention in British Columbia after Quebec court Judge Ann-Mary Beauchemin signed off on his bail conditions in a courtroom in Longueuil, Que., on Montreal’s South Shore.
Majcher was ordered to make a $50,000 cash deposit with the court, surrender his passport and report to RCMP every week. Two sureties have also agreed to deposit an additional $200,000 as a guarantee that Majcher respects his conditions.
After the hearing, federal prosecutor Marc Cigana told reporters the conditions “were negotiated by the defence and the Crown, and we thought they were able to address whatever concerns of a flight risk there is.”
Police allege Majcher, a resident of Hong Kong, used his network of Canadian contacts to obtain intelligence or services that benefited the People’s Republic of China. The alleged target of the campaign is not identified in the charging documents.
While he has not yet formally entered a plea, his lawyer, Ian Donaldson, told the court Tuesday Majcher intends to plead not guilty to both charges.
A charge sheet filed in Quebec court alleges the offences happened between 2014 and 2019 in Canada, Hong Kong and China, and that authorities allege he conspired with others, including a man named Kenneth Ingram Marsh.
Among Majcher’s bail conditions is that he is prohibited from speaking without his lawyer present to Marsh and another man, Ross Gaffney. Cigana would not say how Marsh and Gaffney are connected to the case.
Majcher was employed by the RCMP from 1985 until 2007. A LinkedIn profile for Majcher says he is working in investment banking in Hong Kong at EMIDR Limited, a company he co-founded, providing expertise on money laundering and financial crime risk.
The profile says he worked undercover in “the largest money laundering and securities fraud investigation in North America.” Majcher was the lead investigator in the case of B.C. lawyer Martin Chambers, who was sentenced to 15 years in jail in the United States in 2003 for money laundering.
Majcher’s LinkedIn profile also says he helped train Canada’s national security enforcement team.
The RCMP, meanwhile, have said a Quebec branch of that team had been investigating Majcher since the fall of 2021.
There is a publication ban on testimony and evidence heard thus far in the case, requested by the defence during an arraignment last Friday.
Tuesday’s appearance was beset with technological delays that made it impossible for Majcher to appear by video as intended because the two provinces don’t have compatible IT systems. Eventually, Majcher was able to address the court through the Crown’s cellphone speaker.
Even though Majcher will live in Vancouver and his lawyer also appeared from that city, the case will be heard in Quebec, where the RCMP investigation was co-ordinated and where the federal prosecution team resides.
Cigana told reporters that a prosecution under the Security of Information Act can take place anywhere in the country.
The case will return to court at the Longueuil courthouse on Aug. 29.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 25, 2023.
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