Lich Trial Highlights: September 7, 2023

The third day of the Tamara Lich and Chris Barber trial began with a decision to pause the evidence of Officer Cyr. The crown then called their fourth witness, Sgt. Joanne Pilotte of the Ottawa Police Service.  

The evidence of Sgt. Pilotte took place in a voir dire, which is a separate hearing sometimes described as a “trial within a trial.” The purpose of the voir dire was to look at extensive social media evidence, the admission of which might be objected to by the defence.

The crown managed to get through several short video clips. The videos had been downloaded from Barber’s TikTok account and featured Barber exhorting people to peacefully protest, donate to GiveSendGo, and to put pressure on the government.

There were often horns in the background when the videos showed Barber in downtown Ottawa. People were also playing hockey and cooking in some of the videos.

Lich was present in only one video. The video featured Barber dispelling rumours that Lich had absconded with donations. It also suggested that he and Lich were in meetings.

The crown will presumably be relying on some of the video content to prove the counselling charges against Lich and Barber. In one video, Barber suggests that an empty intersection is “lonely” and that he could “fix it.” In another video, he says that the Liberals do not know whom they are “f—king with.”

Lich’s charges include counselling mischief and intimidation, not committed. For these charges, the crown is tasked with proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Lich deliberately encouraged or actively induced people to commit the crimes of mischief and intimidation, but not that those crimes were actually committed.

The crown must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Lich intended for the offences to be committed or that she knowingly counselled the commission of those offences while aware of the unjustified risk that the offences were likely to be committed.

In proving its case, the crown will attempt to show that there is a conspiracy, and that Lich and Barber were a part of it. If the crown can prove these points on the applicable legal standards of proof, it can use the statements and actions of each accused, made in furtherance of the conspiracy, against the other.

The historical justification for this notoriously confusing rule of evidence, sometimes known as the “co-conspirators exception to hearsay”, is that conspirators implicitly authorize each other to act and speak on their behalf in furtherance of the conspiracy.

The day concluded with Diane Magas objecting to the unknown parameters of the alleged conspiracy.

Disclaimer: Please remember this update is given for information purposes only. It is not legal advice. If you have a legal issue, you should consult a lawyer for specific advice. 

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