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OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) –– The trial of Freedom Convoy leaders Tamara Lich and Chris Barber is on pause until next week after the Crown abruptly decided to end its case, telling the court it will not call forth any new witnesses. 

The trial has been ongoing for nearly three months, having started on September 5, 2023. Despite seeing a few breaks here and there, including being off most of November, the Crown prosecution had been taking its time calling forth its witnesses. That changed this Monday, which was sitting day 27 of the trial 

On this day, the Crown decided to abruptly finish its case against Lich and Barber, who appeared in court via teleconference, with their defense arguing that the protest organizers’ actions were within the law, and they should not be considered co-conspirators as the Crown claims. 

The Crown has been trying to prove that Lich and Barber had somehow influenced the protesters’ actions through their words as part of a co-conspiracy. 

On Monday in court, the Crown’s last witness, Nicole Bach of the Ottawa Police Services’ (OPS) Police Liaison Team (PLT), testified in court about a chat group created between officers. She had previously testified her police-provided phone was “wiped” of all information when asked by Judge Heather Perkins-McVey if she had copies of vital information of conversations between her and protesters. 

Bach told the court, as noted by the Democracy Fund, which is crowdfunding Lich’s legal costs, that the content of a now-redacted email the defense was finally able to view “included that OPS phones are ‘corporately owned’ and that there is a ‘personal side’ and ‘work side’ to the cell phones.” 

“In addition, the email included instructions to PLT officers regarding ‘booking a migration appointment’ with the IT department to update their work phones,” noted TDF.  

Bach said she did not back up her phone despite being told in an email from the IT department that the phone update would “wipe” all data.  

After some additional back and forth concerning text messages, the Crown told the court that it was prepared to conclude its case. 

As it stands now, the trial will resume on November 27, with Lich and Barber’s defense calling its witnesses. It is not yet clear how many days the defense will get to make its case in court, but it looks like they are asking to have the entire case dismissed over a lack of evidence.  

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. 

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