OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) — Late last week during the third and fourth days of the trial for Freedom Convoy leaders Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, the presiding judge reportedly noted her unhappiness with the Crown after it submitted thousands of pages of evidence against the protest organizers all at once.
The Democracy Fund (TDF), which is crowdfunding Freedom Convoy leader Tamara Lich’s legal costs, noted that the prosecution “submitted 4,000 pages of digital chats/messages as part of disclosure by August 1, but is now seeking to delineate about 2,000 pages it wishes to specifically use as evidence.”
Lich’s lawyer Lawrence Greenspon, per the TDF, noted that the Crown’s “approach to disclosure, what they are relying upon, and [the] lately brought Carter application are causing [the] defense to have to review already viewed disclosure.”
TDF added that this is a “monumental task, especially when you are in the midst of trial.”
In a day four trial update released today, the TDF said that the defense “pointed to the Crown expanding the scope of disclosed communications it intended to rely upon at trial.”
“This late disclosure would necessitate defense counsel not merely reviewing those additional documents, but a massive number of documents already disclosed and reviewed so as to properly respond to the crown’s case,” noted TDF.
TDF said that the court had previously heard the Crown’s so called “Carter Application,” which “alleges a conspiracy that has not been defined,” and that is “asking the judge to use Barber’s statements and actions to establish the guilt of Lich, and vice versa.”
TDF noted that this type of application is very “complicated” and requires that the Crown prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that there was a “conspiracy or plan in place and that Lich was a party to it based on direct evidence.”
“The court also heard about how Police Constable Barlow had not disclosed all of the video he reviewed when making a compilation video of the Freedom Convoy protests, which he said was ‘representative,’ but which he admitted on cross-examination did not show people hugging, children playing hockey or police arrests of the protesters,” observed TDF.
The TDF then said that the judge said the “defense should know the case it has to meet and that it is not a ‘moving target.’”
The judge then ordered that the Crown must file a “Carter Application” no later than today.
During the end of day four, the court heard about social media videos downloaded by Sgt. Joanne Pilotte of the Ottawa Police Service, pertaining to Lich and Barber.
“While some of these videos included statements from Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, others featured hearsay statements from persons not on trial. The Crown explained that it did not intend to rely upon these videos for the truth of their contents,” noted TDF.
As such, the videos will not be admitted into evidence, “until the Crown clarifies why they are being shown to the court and until the defense makes submissions on their admissibility,” added TDF.
While TDF is crowdfunding Lich’s legal costs, her co-defendant Barber is relying on local fundraisers to help pay for his defense, and is also receiving help from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.
Lich and Barber were charged with multiple offenses in 2022 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 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 federal government enacted the Emergencies Act in mid-February, leading to Lich’s arrest two days later on February 17.
After the protest was cleared out, which was done through the freezing of bank accounts of those involved without a court order as well as the physical removal and arrest of demonstrators, Trudeau revoked the EA on February 23.
Hours of Barber’s social media footage viewed during trial
During the third day of the trial which took place last Thursday, the Crown called forth Sgt. Pilotte again as a witness, and about five hours of social media footage was viewed.
TDF noted that this evidence took place in what is known as a voir dire, which is a “separate hearing sometimes described as a ‘trial within a trial.’”
“The purpose of the voir dire was to look at extensive social media evidence, the admission of which might be objected to by the defense,” noted TDF.
The social media videos came from Barber’s TikTok account, and showed him “exhorting people to peacefully protest, donate to GiveSendGo, and to put pressure on the government,” said TDF.
Lich was only present in one of the videos. This video, said TDF, featured Barber “dispelling rumors that Lich had absconded with donations. It also suggested that he and Lich were in meetings.”
TDF observed that the Crown will be “presumably” relying on some video content to try and prove the “counseling charges” against Lich and Barber.
“In one video, Barber suggests that an empty intersection is ‘lonely’ and that he could ‘fix it.’ In another video, he says that the Liberals do not know whom they are ‘f—king with,’” noted TDF.
TDF said that the “Crown is tasked with proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Lich deliberately encouraged or actively induced people to commit the crimes of mischief and intimidation, but not that those crimes were actually committed.”
“The Crown must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Lich intended for the offenses to be committed or that she knowingly counseled the commission of those offenses while aware of the unjustified risk that the offenses were likely to be committed,” said explained TDF.
TDF said that the Crown’s case revolves around it attempting to show that there was a “conspiracy,” and that Lich and Barber “were a part of it.”
“If the Crown can prove these points on the applicable legal standards of proof, it can use the statements and actions of each accused, made in furtherance of the conspiracy, against the other,” noted TDF.
According to TDF, the historical justification for this “notoriously confusing rule of evidence, sometimes known as the ‘co-conspirators exception to hearsay,’ is that conspirators implicitly authorize each other to act and speak on their behalf in furtherance of the conspiracy.”
TDF noted that Barber’s lawyer, Diane Magas, objected to “the unknown parameters of the alleged conspiracy.”
On day one of the trial held last Tuesday TDF observed that the judge overseeing the court case was clearly “not being led by the Crown.”
On day two of the trial last Wednesday, a police officer testified that he was under direct orders to not give protesters an “inch” and allow them to protest closer to Canada’s Parliament building, which he said would have mitigated disruptions to the city.