Tamara Lich violated the conditions by appearing with her fellow convoy leader: Crown

OTTAWA-

The Crown is seeking to revoke the bail of Tamara Lich, leader of the “Freedom Convoy”, after she appeared alongside a fellow organizer in an alleged violation of her terms.

Lich was charged in February with mischief, obstructing police, counseling others to commit mischief and intimidation for her role in the mass protest against COVID-19 restrictions that brought downtown Ottawa to a standstill for more than three weeks.

She was released the following month on a long list of conditions, including an order not to communicate with the main organizers of the convoy except through a lawyer or in the presence of a lawyer. She was also banned from using all social media.

Crown prosecutor Moiz Karimjee told an Ottawa court on Tuesday that Lich breached one of her conditions by being seen with protest leader Tom Marazzo at a recent gala, where she accepted an award for organizing the protest.

He argued that she should be stopped.

Lich’s attorney, Lawrence Greenspon, said he will challenge Lich’s bail revocation and seek his release with conditions.

Ottawa Police Detective. Chris Benson, who is leading Lich’s case, told the court that he reviewed video of Lich and Marazzo appearing together at the awards show.

Greenspon asked Benson if he knew of any other evidence that Lich and Marazzo communicated before or after the brief interaction in the video, which took place in “less than three seconds.”

He asked the detective if he was aware that any attorneys from the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms were present, some of whom act as his civil attorneys.

Benson said he believed a photo showing Lich, Marazzo and others posing together at the awards ceremony shows that she violated his terms due to her physical proximity to him.

Lich monitored the hearing remotely from an Ontario detention center, watching by videoconference and listening on a cell phone, her blonde hair pulled back in a high bun.

Both Marazzo and Lich were key spokespersons for the winter convoy protest. Marazzo is also the leader of a group called Veterans 4 Freedom, which has organized several rallies in Ottawa over Canada Day weekend.

Police have requested a Canada-wide arrest warrant for Lich for the alleged violation of her bail conditions and she was arrested last week in Medicine Hat, Alta., where she lives.

Benson said he oversaw Lich’s transportation from Alberta to Ottawa after she was arrested.

Bail for Lich, whose identity is protected by a court-ordered publication ban, said they became aware of the photo of Lich and Marazzo a few days after the event, and immediately contacted Lich out of fear of a possible violation of bail conditions. place.

The bond explained that Lich assured them that legal counsel was present at the gala.

Greenspon noted that the evidence presented against Lich to argue that she broke the bail condition consists of a very brief congratulatory interaction between her and Marazzo, adding that the attorneys approved of the photo and were simply off camera.

He argued that Benson did not provide any evidence that contradicted the terms of the bail conditions.

“These actions were so minimal that they amounted to not being prosecuted, let alone convicted,” he said.

The purpose of the bail condition was not to prevent the brief interaction and photo that took place, Greenspon said, but to prevent an event similar to the one that took place in Ottawa earlier this year. He argued that the interactions in question are not at risk of recurrence.

The matter should have been taken to a judicial referral hearing or some other recourse instead of the Canada-wide arrest warrant that led to Lich being detained for nine days, he said, pointing to an email showing the Crown sought expansion of an initial Ontario- wide order.

Justice of the Peace Paul Harris reserved his decision until the next court appearance on Friday.

Lich is charged for her role in the “Freedom Convoy” along with a co-defendant, Chris Barber, who remains out on bail.

On Tuesday morning, Barber’s attorney was granted a ban on the release of court documents showing Barber’s cell phone communications, except those with Lich.


This story was produced with the financial assistance of Meta and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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