Lich Trial Highlights: September 12, 2023

We began the sixth day of the trial of Tamara Lich and Chris Barber with the continued voir dire on the admissibility of certain social media posts and videos allegedly relating to Ms. Lich and Mr. Barber. (It will be recalled that a voir dire ("true say") is a trial within a trial to determine whether certain items or information may be entered into evidence.)

Sergeant Pilotte returned to the stand, after which the Crown continued its examination of her. As before, she was asked to authenticate several extracts of the Freedom Convoy 2022 Facebook page as it existed when she or her colleagues created the screen capture or downloaded associated videos. This took most of the morning.

This process is necessary to catalogue each document with an exhibit number and title.

Some of the Facebook posts referenced videos: these videos were then shown in Court so that all parties were given a chance to review the potential evidence the Crown hopes to use.

Many of these videos seemingly depicted either Lich or Barber, or both, making statements about the protests. In one, for example, Mr. Barber was seen touring Ottawa during the protest, greeting people warmly. In another, Ms. Lich seemingly gave a heartfelt speech wherein she encouraged people "not to give in," to "keep love in your heart," to "remain peaceful," and even to "pray for the Prime Minister."

So far, there has been little evidence to support the Crown's contention that the protest was "anything but peaceful."

The phrase "hold the line" recurs in some of the videos. We have not yet been told by the Crown how that phrase relates to the elements of any of the offences with which Ms. Lich has been charged. Presumably, this will become clear as the Crown develops its case - provided the Crown convinces the Court that these videos should be admitted as evidence.

The voir dire continued throughout the afternoon, with Sergeant Pilotte authenticating various videos. Toward the end of the day, the Crown advised that it had two 75-minute videos remaining, the viewing of which is expected to take up Wednesday morning.

It is expected that the voir dire will wrap up shortly after that, ending with arguments by the Crown and defence, at which point Justice Perkins-McVey will make her ruling on the narrow issue of the admissibility of this evidence. 

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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