‘Freedom Convoy’ organizer Tamara Lich refused bail


« Ms. Lich’s involvement, in the opinion of this court, continues to pose a risk to the protection and safety of the public.

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Tamara Lich remains in jail in Ottawa after a justice of the peace found she breached a condition of her release when she exchanged congratulations with another ‘Freedom Convoy’ organizer at an awards gala prices in Toronto last month.

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Lich, 49, was cleared at her final bail review to attend the June 16 gala, where she accepted a “Freedom Award” from the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms and sat down at the table. honor with Maxime Bernier and keynote speaker Rex Murphy. Also seated at the table was Tom Marazzo, one of several people Lich is prohibited from contacting as part of his bail conditions.

Lich was also pictured in a group photo of the ‘arm-in-arm’ event with Marazzo, Justice of the Peace Paul Harris said on Friday as she denied Lich bail and sided of the Crown to find it in breach.

Lich’s lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, had argued that those actions were « so miniscule » that they were never meant to be covered by the terms of release and « should not be prosecuted ».

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Greenspon also suggested that contact between Lich and Marazzo would have been allowed due to the presence of Lich’s legal counsel at the gala.

“Ms. Lich chose to exercise her liberty by breaching the court-ordered no-contact condition with Mr. Marazzo,” Harris said, taking no beatings to deliver her decision in front of a packed courtroom. journalists and Lich supporters.

« And she does it in a way to flaunt her action under the mistaken excuse of the presence of her lawyers. » Even if Ms. Lich is able to provide proof of the presence of her lawyer, it is important to reconfirm the spirit of the no-contact condition.

Harris said the no-contact order was put in place to ensure there was no communication between the co-defendants except when consulting with a lawyer when preparing a defense .

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While Marazzo’s name is included on the restraining order, along with Pat King, Tyson Billings and others, Marazzo has not been charged in connection with the protest.

« It’s absolutely ridiculous to think that the intent of (the no contact order) could be superseded just by having your attorney present, » Harris said, turning to Lich as she sat in the cubicle. prisoners. “Your detention is necessary to maintain confidence in the administration of justice. It’s my decision.

Supporters of Tamara Lich gathered at the Elgin Street courthouse on Friday afternoon74.
Supporters of Tamara Lich gathered at the Elgin Street courthouse on Friday afternoon74. Photo by Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

Assistant Crown Attorney Moiz Karimjee introduced new evidence at Tuesday’s bail hearing with a series of text messages in which Lich discusses a « strategy to blockade the city. »

Lich « clearly got involved » as one of the leaders of the « Freedom Convoy, » Harris said in her summary of the Crown’s case on Friday.

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« The new evidence points to Ms. Lich’s involvement as a decision-maker in the stalemate in the nation’s capital, » Harris said in her ruling. “And, as such, although the convoy protest is now over, the ‘freedom’ protests continue here in Ottawa and in other cities across Canada.

« Ms. Lich’s involvement, in the opinion of this court, continues to pose a risk to the protection and safety of the public.

Harris also rejected arguments from Lich’s attorneys that she should have been allowed to sit next to Marazzo at the gala and be photographed with him because his attorney was present at the event.

The JCCF has admitted funding his legal defense, and the organization’s attorneys are representing Lich in related civil proceedings.

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Harris called it a « flawed argument. »

« Ms. Lich chose to sit at her table or at the very least remain at her table with Mr. Tom Marazzo, in close contact, » Harris said. confirm the presence of a lawyer, nor the permission of Ms. Lich’s lawyer to sit down with Mr. Marazzo and take a picture, arm in arm with Mr. Marazzo.

“Ms. Lich was permitted to attend the awards gala (JCCF),” Harris said. “The permission given (by the previous judge) did not contemplate Ms. Lich sitting at a table with Mr. Marazzo, communicating with Mr. Marazzo – even without consequence – and then posing for a photo with Mr. Marazzo.

« Such actions most certainly erode public confidence in the administration of justice, » he said.

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Harris said the evidence showed Lich « isn’t ready to follow court orders and is willing to do whatever she feels like doing. »

Harris said he took judicial notice of the chaos caused by the « Freedom Convoy » truckers’ protest and referred to the « high severity » of the offense. Lich is charged with counseling various related offenses including mischief, intimidation and obstruction of police.

« The Crown is satisfied that the objective seriousness of the new information (the ‘gridlock’ texts) and this violation could result in a maximum sentence of 10 years, » Harris said.

Lich « was a recognized decision maker, » and the judge said he found her actions « disturbing in the face of the events of last February here in the nation’s capital…

“Her communications alone indicate that she may have been a leader, and it will be up to a trial court to determine how crucial a role she played in the decision to clog the city,” said Harris.

« Like her co-defendant, Ms. Lich will, at some point, have to answer for her involvement and role. »



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