Coutts Trial: Defence lawyer suggests female undercover RCMP officer was 'flirting' with her client

The Crown has invited two female RCMP undercover investigators who were deployed to the Coutts demonstration to testify as witnesses in the trial.

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“It would appear to me that you were flirting with him,” Marilyn Burns, defence attorney for Anthony Olienick, said on Friday to the second female RCMP undercover operator (UCO) invited to testify as a witness for the Crown in the trial of her client and Chris Carbert in Lethbridge, AB.

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 Crown has invited two female RCMP undercover investigators who were deployed to the Coutts demonstration to testify as witnesses in the trial. Both female UCOs testified that “sexual integrity” – which neither defined – is not compromised as part of their investigatory processes.

“I would never violate my sexual integrity,” the second female RCMP UCO stated, when asked by lead prosecutor Steven Johnston if “romance” is ever used “as a tactic” by the RCMP’s UCOs in their investigations.

Burns asked the second female RCMP UCO during cross-examination, “Did you get the sense that Tony [Olienick] was trying to impress you?” The witness replied, “No.”

Burns asked the female RCMP investigator, “[Was] Tony...beginning to have an interest in a relationship with you beyond friendship?”

The female RCMP officer replied, “I didn't feel that way. That wasn't the impression I was getting.” When Burns stated her impression that the female RCMP officer was “flirting” with her client during her time at the Coutts protest, the female RCMP officer replied, “I wouldn't say I was, no.”

Burns also asked the second female RCMP UCO about the meanings behind “heart emojis” and other emoticons used by the witness via text messages with her client.

The second female RCMP UCO repeated what her earlier counterpart had testified to about the RCMP’s claim that digital recording devices were not used as a part of its undercover investigation of the Coutts protesters.

The second undercover female RCMP investigator said she developed comfort with her investigatory targets. “I did feel very comfortable,” she said, referring to “a bond and rapport” she established with Olienick and other Coutts protesters. ”I didn't feel that there was any suspicion on us,” she added, referring to speculation on the part of Olienick and other Coutts demonstrators about her and her RCMP colleagues’ actual roles as law enforcement investigators.

When asked by Burns if she had seen any guns at the Coutts protest, the female RCMP witness replied, “I did not.”

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