Coutts Trial defence lawyer asks RCMP witness: 'Were arrests needed to end the protest?'

During cross-examination by Carbert's defence attorney, Const. Suave acknowledged that some items of interest were seen in different locations when photographs and videos captured by the RCMP were compared.

Remove Ads

RCMP Constable Daniel Suave testified as a witness for the Crown during Friday’s proceedings in the trial of Chris Carbert and Anthony Olienick in Lethbridge, AB.

Suave participated in the execution of a search warrant of a modular home and two trailers  one owned by Carbert  located in Coutts, AB, towards the end of the 2022 Coutts protest and blockade. He operated as an exhibits officer, in which he oversaw the documentation of items of interest  via photos, videos, and notes  to the RCMP within the properties searched for the purpose of potential use as evidence in a criminal prosecution.

Olienick and Carbert are charged with conspiracy to murder, with the Crown alleging that the two men conspired to murder police officers during their participation in the 2022 Coutts protest and blockade, which was a peaceful and civilly disobedient protest against governmental decrees, edicts, and mandates issued as “public health” measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission.

The two men are also charged with unlawful possession of a weapon with a purpose dangerous to the public peace, and mischief causing damage over $5,000. Olienick is additionally charged with unlawful possession of an explosive device for a purpose dangerous to the public peace. The two defendants have pled not guilty to all the charges against them. 

Suave stated in his testimony that he and his colleagues observed several firearms  including a Spectre handgun, Vector submachine, Mossberg shotgun, a Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol, and a .22 caliber hunting rifle. He also observed ballistic and tactical vests in the searched locations. He noted that the RCMP had a “particular interest” in firearms and ammunition.

During cross-examination by Katherin Beyak, Chris Carbert's defence attorney, Suave acknowledged that some items of interest were seen in different locations when photographs and videos captured by the RCMP were compared. He concluded that items had been moved between the times of photos and videos being recorded. He further testified that best practices for photographic and videographic documentation of evidence require the original locations of said items to be recorded and documented before and if the items need to be moved.

“I’m suggesting that these photos were staged for effect, because they were in the closet,” Beyak stated after Suave said he took part in the RCMP’s placement of firearms, ammunition, and tactical vests for a press release photo.

“Were arrests needed to end the protest?” Marilyn Burns, Anthony Olienick's lawyer, asked Suave about the order of operations in the RCMP’s arrests of her client and others at the protest. She asked Suave about the RCMP’s chain of command’s “brainstorming for the charges”. She inquired if the federal law enforcement agency began with responding to evidence of criminality on the part of the protesters or with a search for information it could characterize as evidence of criminality.

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads