Coutts Trial observers: Male bravado towards female undercover cops is not evidence of conspiracy to murder

The two defendants have pled not guilty to all the charges against them.

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A publication ban covers the entirety of Wednesday’s proceedings in the trial of Chris Carbert and Anthony Olienick, in Lethbridge, AB, due to the jury's absence from the courtroom across the entire day as the Crown and defence team addressed disputes with Justice David Labrenz, the trial’s overseeing judge.

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.

Publication bans are applied to pre-trial proceedings and trial proceedings occuring in the jury’s absence. Part of the judicial rationale for publication bans is to prevent jurors from being exposed to information deemed irrelevant or inaccurate that may undermine their abilities to render impartial verdicts.

Evidence deemed to have been unlawfully obtained may also be prevented from entering the trial, and is therefore kept away from juries. These proceedings may also include matters regarding sitting jurors and other motions and applications filed by either the Crown or the defence.

Proper proceedings are scheduled to resume on Friday with the jury’s return to the courtroom. The Court of King’s Bench of Alberta, the courthouse in which the trial is taking place, currently has dates available for the trial’s continuation until July 19. The judge previously shared an expectation that the trial would conclude around mid-July.

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