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OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) — The trial for Freedom Convoy leaders Tamara Lich and Chris Barber resumed but only for one day. Because the trial has taken months longer than expected, the court now must determine future dates.

The Democracy Fund (TDF), which is crowdfunding Lich’s legal costs, noted in a Day 34 trial update that the sole court date on the books for 2024, which was last Thursday, saw Crown and defense submissions “regarding the admissibility of the February 2022 injunction hearing transcripts.”

The injunction hearing transcripts concern a horn-honking injunction placed on Freedom Convoy protesters in February 2022 after local citizens launched a complaint about the noise.

According to the TDF, the defense counsel is asking to have the transcripts admitted to the court record. The Crown is contesting this.

Barber’s lawyer, Diane Magas, presented to the court excerpts from both injunction hearings and emphasized the importance of “understanding the context behind the injunction judge’s comments” by “explaining his acceptance or rejection of specific terms.”

Magas asserted how the transcripts discuss the consequences of “breaching the injunction, highlighting the judge’s clarification that a breach would result in civil contempt, not criminal charges.”

“Additionally, she noted the injunction judge’s statement permitting individuals in Ottawa to continue protesting post-injunction,” the TDF said.

Lich’s lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, spoke to the submissions that were made by then-Freedom Convoy leader lawyer Keith Wilson during the injunction hearing in 2022, “underscoring that it strictly pertained to honking and noise,” as noted by the TDF.

“Greenspon highlighted the injunction judge’s remark that there was ‘no evidence of any breach,’ emphasizing the credibility of a superior court judge who heard experienced counsel’s submissions,” the TDF said.

The Crown in their response to the defense counsel’s submissions then “reversed their stance,” and agreed to “provide the full transcript to Justice (Heather) Perkins-McVey for context.”

“They emphasized the injunction judge’s statement that the sole issue before him was honking horns, providing context to Greenspon’s ‘no evidence of breach’ quote,” the TDF stated.

The Crown had suggested that the injunction judge “referred only to a lack of evidence regarding honking horns, not a lack of evidence of any wrongdoing.”

Counsel is soon set to meet to determine the next days for when Day 35 will be scheduled.

Trial that began in September was supposed to last only 16 days

The trial, which began September 5, 2023, was expected to last only a few weeks.

In 2022, lawyers for both sides agreed that 16 days would be a reasonable amount of time for a fair trial. The Crown, however, took a long time going through its witness list.

Just before Christmas, the Freedom Convoy leaders’ lawyers said a $290 million class-action lawsuit filed by disgruntled Ottawa residents against the leaders is designed to “silence” the leaders’ right to free “expression.” The Freedom Convoy leaders’ lawyers have applied to have the case dismissed.

The trial until last Thursday was on hiatus since December 7.

On the last day of the trial for 2023, TDF observed that the court will resume in 2024 with a “voir dire,” or trial within a trial, to be “held over how comments made by the judge presiding over the Ottawa injunction order of February 2022 should be treated.”

“In the days following, there should be a decision on the defense motion to dismiss the Carter application,” TDF said.

Thus far, per TDF, the Crown has asserted “that the absence of violence or peaceful nature of the protest didn’t make it lawful, emphasizing that the onus was on the Crown to prove the protest’s unlawfulness.”

The Crown has been holding steadfast to the notion in trying to prove that Lich and Barber had somehow influenced the protesters’ actions through their words as part of a co-conspiracy. This claim has been rejected by the defense as weak.

The reality is that Lich and Barber collaborated with police on many occasions so that the protests were within the law.

Lich and Barber are facing multiple charges from the 2022 protests, including mischief, counseling mischief, counseling intimidation and obstructing police for taking part in and organizing the anti-mandate Freedom Convoy. As reported by LifeSiteNews at the time, despite the non-violent nature of the protest and the charges, Lich was jailed for weeks before she was granted bail.

In early 2022, the Freedom Convoy saw thousands of Canadians from coast to coast come to Ottawa to demand an end to COVID mandates in all forms. Despite the peaceful nature of the protest, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government enacted the Emergencies Act on February 14.

During the clear-out of protesters after the EA was put in place, one protester, an elderly lady, was trampled by a police horse, and one conservative female reporter was beaten by police and shot with a tear gas canister.

LifeSiteNews has been covering the trial extensively.