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Canada's Freedom Convoy in OttawaMinas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

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OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) — The judge overseeing the trial for Freedom Convoy leaders Tamara Lich and Chris Barber adjourned the court proceedings until August to allow for the government to prepare legal arguments to back its claim that the leaders were “co-conspirators” as well as give time to the defense to prepare their case that the leaders are innocent.

The months-long court case started on September 5, 2023, in an Ottawa courthouse.

On Day 38 last Friday, the Democracy Fund (TDF), which is crowdfunding Lich’s legal costs, noted in a legal update that Justice Heather Perkins-McVey stated that she would not hear the “Carter application before closing arguments” but that “it will be heard simultaneously.”

The government has been hoping to use what is called a “Carter application” to help them make their case against Lich and Barber by trying to prove that the leaders were “co-conspirators,” meaning that accusations placed against one leader automatically apply to the other.

The government’s “Carter Application” asks that the judge consider “Barber’s statements and actions to establish the guilt of Lich, and vice versa.”

A Carter application requires that the government 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,” and, as such, the defense is asking the judge to dismiss the application.

According to the TDF, Perkins-McVey delayed the trial until August so the government and the defense have time to “prepare their submissions without knowing the exact evidence admitted by the Court against each defendant.”

“This is because the Court’s ruling on the Carter application determines whether the statements of one defendant can be attributed to the other,” the TDF said.

Thus far, the government 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 government has held steadfast to the notion in trying to prove that Lich and Barber 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. Lawrence Greenspon, Lich’s counsel, and Barber’s attorney, Diane Magas, have said they will argue against the Carter application.

The trial will resume August 13, with extra court dates planned for August 14-15 and August 19-23. LifeSiteNews has covered the trial extensively since it began last year.

Court will allow some ‘extra’ statements from Barber to be submitted

The court also ruled Friday that only some extra statements of Barber will be allowed to be admitted as per the “one statement rule.” Perkins-McVey will soon issue a ruling “shortly,” the TDF reported.

Day 37 included some “important” updates, according to their legal team, as their lawyers argued that allowing video to be entered as evidence would provide “context and completeness” into why they led the protests.

Last Thursday’s court proceedings saw Magas continue her “submission on the admissibility of statements of videos made by her client (Barber).”

Day 37 also saw the defense move to argue that the “Carter application should be ‘bifurcated’ – that is, it should be heard and ruled upon by the Court before closing submissions.”

On Day 36, lawyers argued that video statements made by the leaders should be allowed as “evidence of the truth.”

The trial resumed for one day, on March 7, for only the second court date since the new year, with Perkins-McVey deciding to dismiss an application by the Freedom Convoy leaders that asked the court to throw out so-called conspiracy charges.

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.

Besides the ongoing trial, Lich and Barber and a host of others recently filed a $2 million lawsuit against the Trudeau government for its use of the Emergencies Act (EA) to quash the Freedom Convoy in 2022.

In early 2022, thousands of Canadians from coast to coast came 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. Trudeau revoked the EA on February 23.

The EA controversially allowed the government to freeze the bank accounts of protesters, conscript tow truck drivers, and arrest people for participating in assemblies the government deemed illegal.

During the clear-out of protesters after the EA was put in place, 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.

U.S. citizens: Demand Congress investigate soaring excess death rates