CALGARY, Alberta (LifeSiteNews) — Alberta-based Christian pastor Artur Pawlowski has been vindicated in court yet again after the COVID-related charges levied against him in 2020 for feeding the homeless and attending a pro-freedom rally were stayed by Crown prosecutors.
The Democracy Fund (TDF) said in a press release Tuesday that it “is pleased” with the decision by the Crown to drop Pawlowski’s charges, noting that if convicted he could have faced a fine of up to $100,000.
“Pastor Artur Pawlowski was charged for attending gatherings (feeding the homeless with his church and attending a Walk for Freedom protest), allegedly in breach of the COVID-19 pandemic-related gathering restrictions for ‘private social gatherings’ in December 2020,” said the TDF.
“The charges have been outstanding for the past 23 months, and Pastor Pawlowski has endured a total of five trial days.”
Pawlowski’s lawyer, Sarah Miller, noted that the Crown deciding to stay the charges is an “incredibly late resolution in Mr. Pawlowski’s favor.”
“The entire prosecution was flawed, from a weak case to extremely late disclosure, to inconsistent witnesses, to unreasonable delays,” said Miller.
“It will be a relief for Mr. Pawlowski once the stay expires and this prosecution is no longer hanging over him.”
The TDF noted that on December 16, right before Pawlowski’s trial was about to recommence, “the Crown decided to stay the prosecution.”
“This represents another victory for Pastor Pawlowski in his fight to defend religious freedom and civil liberties in Canada,” TDF celebrated.
The Crown’s decision to stay its charges against Pawlowski comes shortly after Alberta’s new premier, Danielle Smith, promised she would look at pardoning Christian pastors who were jailed for violating so-called COVID policies while Jason Kenney was premier.
Since becoming premier, Smith has been clear that she did not agree with how far COVID rules went under Kenney, noting specifically her displeasure with vaccine passports and mandates, as well as restrictions placed on places of worship.
Under Kenney’s leadership, Christian pastors Pawlowski, Tim Stephens, and James Coates were all jailed for flouting COVID health dictates.
This is not the first legal victory Pawlowski has had in relation to his fight against COVID mandates.
In July, Pawlowski had contempt charges against him and his brother Dawid nullified by an appeals court.
The Pawlowskis made international headlines after they were arrested in a highway takedown in May 2021 for holding worship services contrary to Alberta’s COVID rules, and ultimately spent three nights in jail before being released on bail.
In total, since the start of the COVID “crisis,” Artur Pawlowski has been jailed no less than five times. After his last arrest, he was initially denied bail when a provincial judge ruled he was a threat to “public safety.” This happened despite his alleged “crimes” being completely non-violent in nature.
Due to the severe backlash against Kenney for allowing what many felt was Christian persecution under the guise of public health policy, Smith has indicated that her government will never introduce draconian COVID mandates on Albertans again, including those targeting churches.