Truckers Protest: Tamara Lich Remains in Jail
Judge Paul Harris said the court found Tamara Lich's actions “troubling”.
Tamara Lich started the Ottawa Trucker Convoy Fundraisers the last winter (archives).
One of the trucking convoy organizers, Tamara Lich, was denied bail for violating her bail conditions when she attended an awards gala in Toronto and had contact with another convoy organizer.
Justice of the Peace Paul Harris announced his decision Friday afternoon in the Ontario Court of Justice in Ottawa, in the presence of Ms. Lich.
He explained that his detention was necessary to maintain confidence in the administration of justice.
When his decision was announced, a person stood crying in the audience, while another ran out.
Ms. Lich's next appearance is scheduled for July 14, via videoconference.
Ms. Lich has been in jail since her arrest in Medicine Hat, Alta., on June 27. Ottawa police then issued a Canada-wide warrant for her arrest.
She faces charges of mischief, advising to commit mischief, obstructing the work of police officers, advising to obstruct police, advising to commit intimidation and of intimidation by blocking and obstructing one or more public thoroughfares in connection with the protest which occupied parts of Ottawa for approximately three weeks this winter.
Supporters of Ms. Lich gathered outside the Ottawa courthouse on Friday.
Outside the courthouse on Friday, supporters of Ms. Lich, holding Canadian flags, chanted Free Tamara.
Ms. Lich appeared virtually in an Ottawa courtroom on Tuesday for her fourth bail hearing since her first arrest in February.
The prosecutor in the Crown Moiz Karimjee argued that the photo and video showing Ms. Lich at an awards gala in Toronto, posing and talking briefly with one of the other convoy organizers, Tom Marazzo, was a clear violation of her release conditions.
He argued that Ms Lich should be detained, adding that the judge who released her on bail had given her a gift… to which she responded with a snub.
But Defense attorney Lawrence Greenspon was keen to downplay Ms Lich's actions, saying they did not violate her release conditions. According to Mr. Greenspon, Ms. Lich should therefore have been released again on conditions.
He argued that the fact that the Crown's only evidence is photo and video and directed the court to answer a simple question: Should Ms. Lich be detained for what she did in Toronto? ?
One of Ms. Lich's bail conditions states that she may not contact or otherwise communicate, physically, electronically or otherwise, with a list of people. associated with the convoy – including Mr. Marazzo – except through or in the presence of a lawyer.
This wording has been dissected during the hearing earlier this week, with Mrs Greenspon saying she was referring to communication rather than physical contact.
He has also asked the lead investigator in this case, Chris Benson, if he could identify any attorneys from the Center for Constitutional Freedoms, the organization that organized the June 16 event.
Mr. Benson admitted that he could not identify any and did not know if any lawyers for Ms. Lich were featured in the video or photo taken that same evening. But the detective told the court he believed Ms Lich's actions were a breach of her release conditions.
She sits at a table with Mr. Marazzo at a social event, a gala. It's not a law office, it's not a boardroom, Mr. Benson added, explaining the basis of the warrant for her arrest. She was then photographed later that night with Mr. Marazzo, arm in arm.
Tamara Lich's attorney, Lawrence Greenspon
Leaving court, Ms Lich's attorney said he was extremely disappointed with the court's decision and stand ready to file for review with the Ontario Superior Court as soon as possible.
[Ms. Liche] is in police custody and we want her get out, he said, explaining that his client is understandably disappointed with the result and wants to regain her freedom as soon as possible.
With information from The Canadian Press and Dan Taekema, CBC News