The fifth day of the trial of Tamara Lich and Chris Barber began with argument about the admissibility of evidence from nine civilian witnesses the Crown is seeking to call.
Welcome, everyone, to TDF’s coverage of Day 5. I’m Mark Joseph - senior litigation counsel at TDF - and I’ll be live tweeting from the courtroom throughout the week.— The Democracy Fund (@TDF_Can) September 11, 2023
The Crown claimed that these witnesses will give evidence with respect to the existence of road blockages, gridlock, noise and air pollution, public transit, and the general condition of the city of Ottawa.
When the Crown says another witness will speak to exhaust smell, the Court wonders how the witness will be able to distinguish between exhaust from police vehicles & trucks.— The Democracy Fund (@TDF_Can) September 11, 2023
However, Lawrence Greenspon – counsel for Tamara Lich – argued against the admission of the evidence from these witnesses. He reviewed the jurisprudence on this point with the Court and argued that, given the admissions made by the defence with respect to the existence of mischief generally, evidence from these witnesses is neither probative nor relevant.
He claimed that the Court has control over its own procedure and can exclude evidence where it would not irreparably damage the Crown’s legal position.
Finally, he argued that, with respect to the charge of counselling intimidation, the charge is for intimidation not committed. Thus, any evidence of the effect of alleged intimidation is irrelevant: it is the counselling that must be proved by the Crown.
To clarify: the Crown may want to have victim impact statements introduced now in an attempt to show that the protest had specific negative effects on the city and residents of Ottawa, with the goal being to link these effects to the alleged conduct of the accused— The Democracy Fund (@TDF_Can) September 11, 2023
Justice Perkins-McVey then heard argument from the Crown.
The Crown claimed that the evidence will show that the accused knew & disregarded the risk regarding their counsel to block streets & highways, honk horns, create gridlock, generate noise & air pollution, to gather donations toward continued protesting, and encourage others to come to Ottawa.
Although Justice Perkins-McVey has not yet made her decision, she reminded the parties that the court maintains its functions as a gatekeeper of evidence and that the gate is “tight.”
During the afternoon session, the Court heard further testimony from Sergeant Pilotte. She was asked to authenticate several videos of Tamara Lich with another speaker and Chris Barber at a press conference together with two other individuals. Sergeant Pilotte also reviewed several screen captures from the Freedom Convoy Facebook page.
The Court wondered about the privacy interest of people identified on the Facebook page— The Democracy Fund (@TDF_Can) September 11, 2023
The Crown advised that these screen captures comprised approximately 140 pages of disclosure, at which point the Court encouraged the Crown to expedite the process for tomorrow’s hearing.
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.