Disclosure dispute as defence in Tamara trial seeks unredacted police communications

The twenty-first day of Chris Barber's and Tamara Lich's on Friday in Ottawa was entirely consumed by a disclosure dispute between the Crown and defense counsels.

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Chris Barber and Tamara Lich are charged with crimes linked to their roles as organizers of the 2022 Freedom Convoy, a peaceful protest of civil disobedience opposed to decrees, edicts, orders, and mandates issued by government and marketed as "public health" measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Both defendants are charged with committing mischief, intimidation, obstruction of police, and counseling others to commit mischief.

Diane Magas, Barber's defence attorney, listed a series of communications she wished to have fully disclosed to her and Lawrence Greenspon, her counterpart defence lawyer representing Lich.

Magas' disclosure request included emails sent by the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) Police Liaison Team (PLT), a group that liaises with persons for special events in Ottawa to pursue the OPS's stated mission of protecting "public safety."

The PLT corresponded with Barber during the Freedom Convoy to coordinate placement and staging areas for motorists participating in the demonstration, among other things.

Portions of the emails sought by Magas were redacted. She requested the Crown provide fully unredacted copies of these emails and other communications.

Const. Nicole Bach, an OPS officer who works with the PLT, was at the courthouse on Friday as a witness for the prosecution. She was not invited to testify given the aforementioned outstanding disclosure dispute. Neither Magas nor Greenspon wished to cross-examine Bach in the absence of full disclosure of the aforementioned documents. The two lawyers held that a fulsome cross-examination of Bach required full access to the documents.

The defence attorneys' disclosure requests also relate to Bach's work phone, which she said was "wiped" following an update or upgrade to her device.

Bach acknowledged on Thursday that she failed to back up her work phone's data as required by OPS policy.

"I went through the steps and I wasn't able to make it work for me," Bach said on Thursday. "I wasn't able to achieve transposing and transporting all that information."

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  • By Ezra Levant


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