Crown provides zero body cam evidence from RCMP in Coutts Three Trial

Almost all videos submitted by either the Crown or defence teams were recorded by Rebel News during the Coutts blockade and protest and featured the Rebel News watermark.

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No video or audio evidence captured by the RCMP – or any law enforcement agency – has been submitted by the Crown in the trial of the Coutts Three. Defendants Marco Van Huigenbos, Alex Van Herk, and George Janzen are in their second week of trials at the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta in Lethbridge, AB.

The three defendants are being charged with mischief over $5,000 for this participation in the 2022 Coutts blockade and protest, which at times halted traffic across the Coutts-Sweetgrass Canada-U.S. border crossing. The protest took place concurrently with the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa, with both demonstrations sharing opposition to "public health" orders imposed across the country – including lockdowns and mandates – marketed as "emergency" and "public health" measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission.

Almost all videos submitted by either the Crown or defence teams were recorded by Rebel News during the Coutts blockade and protest and featured the Rebel News watermark. Despite body cam and microphones being ubiquitous across modern law enforcement agencies, the RCMP has not provided any video or audio recordings to the Crown for submission as evidence in the Coutts Three trial.

At least four RCMP officers worked as liaisons at the Coutts demonstration, not including undercover officers mentioned in pretrial proceedings in charges against Chris Carbert and Anthony Olienick, the remaining two defendants of the Coutts Four. Both Carbert and Olienick are charged with conspiracy to murder and are alleged to have been plotting to murder RCMP officers.

Two RCMP officers – Mark Wielgosz and Greg Tulloch, each with over twenty years of experience with the federal law enforcement agency – relied entirely on hand-written and dictated notes in providing testimony about their experiences during the Coutts protest. The two officers worked as liaisons between the RCMP and protesters.

Both officers testified on the decentralized nature of the protests, which related to a central claim by the prosecution regarding the alleged leadership positions of the three defendants. The Crown is alleging that Van Huigenbos, Van Herk, and Janzen constituted the protest's "leadership" and exercised control over the protesters.

Tulloch acknowledged in his testimony that the protest was composed of several "factions", between which existed intense disagreement over how to proceed with the demonstration and respond to negotiations with the RCMP.

Tulloch also testified that both Van Huigenbos and Janzen helped him get through a vehicle blockade to enter Coutts at a time during the protest when access to Coutts from the north via the AB-4 highway was blocked. He further stated that both Van Huigenbos and Janzen were useful to him in his dealings with the protesters as a point of contact with whom to liaise on behalf of the RCMP, specifically crediting the two defendants with being able to help move vehicles at times to open lanes on the AB-4 highway to facilitate the flow of traffic in both directions.

Tulloch noted that he did not observe any of the defendants directing the protesters to block the AB-4 highway with vehicles, but did observe them assisting the RCMP with its requests to move protesting vehicles to open lanes for traffic in both directions along the highway.

"[Marco Van Huigenbos and George Janzen] didn't close the road, they opened it," Alan Honner, one of Janzen's defence lawyers, said while cross-examining Tulloch.

The trial is tentatively scheduled to run until April 19.

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