OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) — The seventh day of the Freedom Convoy leaders’ trial saw the court viewing a video of a press conference from 2022 at which Tamara Lich and Chris Barber call for media fairness in coverage of the protests.
Sgt. Joanne Pilotte of the Ottawa Police Service continued her testimony on behalf of the Crown on Wednesday, which also marked the end to the ‘voir dire,’ or trial within a trial, which will determine whether certain social media posts will be allowed to be submitted as evidence to the court.
As noted by The Democracy Fund (TDF), which is crowdfunding Lich’s legal costs in a Day 7 trial update, the court was shown the last few minutes of a 75-minute video, which “appears to be of a press conference with Ms. Lich, Mr. Barber, Keith Wilson (then legal counsel for the Convoy leaders) and several others.”
“Keith Wilson explains that the truckers are asserting their s.2 Charter rights,” the TDF noted.
LifeSiteNews reported on the press conference, which took place at the end of January 2022, at which Lich reaffirmed her group was working with local law enforcement.
“We’ve been working with local law authorities all across the way, and they’ve all been fantastic. We got an escort [from police] through Ontario,” she said.
At the 2022 press conference, Lich also noted how the leaders chose not to be connected to any political party, saying, “We took a vote as an organization [to determine that] we are not partisan.”
A second 75-minute video was shown to the court in which there appears to be some discussions between Wilson about a “10-day injunction against honking” placed on truckers by the Ottawa City Council.
“At one point, Ms. Lich implores the mainstream media to be fair. There is another discussion about the use of Bitcoin to fundraise and avoid censorship,” the TDF said.
The defendants learned that Sgt. Pilotte was given a list of videos to download regarding the Freedom Convoy. The TDF noted that Pilotte “did not know the reason for the inclusion of some videos but not others (such as the videos where Mr. Barber is advising people to remain peaceful and respectful of law enforcement).”
At this point, the court told the Crown that it must provide the defense with the video list, which Pilotte was told to download.
Crown wants social media posts of Lich and Barber to be entered as ‘evidence’ into court
The TDF observed that in the afternoon session of court on Wednesday the Crown in a “refinement of its hearsay argument,” saying there is an admission by “Ms. Lich that she was a leader & organizer of the protest.”
“However, there is no equivalent admission by Mr. Barber. Thus, the Crown said that it needs this evidence to establish Mr. Barber’s strong connection to the protest. The Crown claimed that the evidence will not be used for the truth of its content but for the fact that it was made (and, therefore, will not fall afoul of the rule against hearsay),” the TDF said.
The Crown is looking to have social media “evidence” of Lich and Barber allowed to be entered into the court.
The TDF said that so far there has been “little evidence to support the Crown’s contention that the protest was ‘anything but peaceful.’”
Justice Heather Perkins-McVey is expected to make a ruling soon on whether to allow social media postings to be admissible as evidence in the general trial.
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 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.
During the sixth day of the Freedom Convoy leaders’ trial, the court began the viewing of multiple social media posts showing how Lich called for protesters to be “peaceful” and even to “pray for the Prime Minister.”
On the fifth day of the trial, Lich’s lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, argued against allowing the Crown to be allowed to submit evidence to the court from local civilians who claimed the truckers’ horn-honking affected their well-being.
Late last week during the third and fourth days of the trial for Barber and Lich, Justice Perkins-McVey reportedly noted her unhappiness with the Crown after it submitted thousands of pages of evidence against the protest organizers all at once.
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.