Female undercover RCMP officer cries while testifying in Coutts trial

The female RCMP undercover operator (UCO) testified in a courtroom inaccessible to the public and news media in order to protect her anonymity.

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An undercover female RCMP officer seemingly cried while testifying as a Crown witness during Wednesday’s proceedings in the Chris Carbert and Anthony Olienick trial in Lethbridge, AB.

Both defendants are charged with conspiracy to murder, with the Crown alleging that the two conspired to murder police officers during their participation in the 2022 Coutts blockade and demonstration. The two men are also charged with unlawful possession of firearms for a purpose dangerous to the public peace and mischief causing damage over $5,000. Olienick is uniquely charged with unlawful possession of an explosive device for a purpose dangerous to the public peace. Carbert and Olienick have pleaded not guilty to all charges against them.

The 2022 Coutts blockade and protest was a peaceful and civilly disobedient demonstration broadly opposed to governmental edicts, orders, and mandates issued as “public health” measures, ostensibly to reduce COVID-19 transmission. It ran concurrently to the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa, ON.

Carbert and Olienick are the two remaining defendants of a group of men dubbed the Coutts Four, which previously included Chris Lysak and Jerry Morin, who were also accused of conspiring to murder law enforcement officers. Lysak and Morin pled guilty to lesser weapons-related crimes in March and were sentenced to time served in remand.

The female RCMP undercover operator (UCO) testified in a courtroom inaccessible to the public and news media in order to protect her anonymity. With her in the courtroom were the judge, prosecutors, defence lawyers, defendants, jurors, and court staffers. Members of the public and media could listen to a live audio feed of her testimony in an adjacent courtroom. Her name was also withheld from the public record.

The female UCO sounded as if she was crying while reflecting on what she said were statements made to her by Olienick during a conversation. She stated that Olienick, during the Coutts blockade and protest, told her he was willing – and even expected – to die in a violent confrontation with police officers.

"[Anthony Olienick] said he thought he would die for this cause,” the female UCO stated. She continued, “He comes now to realize that this was his destiny, and this was the war he was meant to fight in. ... [He said] the devil would make sure he didn't survive."

While sounding as if she was losing her composure, lead prosecutor Steven Johnston asked the female UCO if she needed a break from testifying to restore her poise. The female UCO acknowledged that she was upset and replied that she only needed a moment. She also testified that emotional control was a skillset she possessed as an undercover investigator with the RCMP.

According to the female UCO, Olienick claimed that “the devil” would use its “arms” to ensure he didn’t survive the Coutts blockade and protest. She interpreted Olienick’s remark as if “the devil” was a reference to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and “arms” was a metaphor for the RCMP.

Near the end of the day’s proceedings, the female UCO acknowledged that her notetaking documented very little of her own statements and behaviors as an undercover investigator. The vast majority of her notes were composed of statements and behaviours she claimed to observe on the part of her investigatory targets.

Justice David Labrenz, the judge overseeing the trial, said he expects the trial to conclude by mid-July.

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