Judge in high profile trial of Tamara Lich is 'very unhappy' with Crown’s evidentiary fumbling

Justice Perkins-McVey expressed frustration over the prosecution's late request to refine evidence in the trial of Chris Barber and Tamara Lich. The Crown initially submitted a large volume of documents but now seeks to specify which ones to use, causing defence challenges and courtroom tensions.

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Justice Heather Perkins-McVey repeatedly said on Friday that she was "very unhappy" with the prosecution's request to refine its selection of evidence on the fourth day of the trial of Chris Barber and Tamara Lich in Ottawa, ON.

Such evidentiary submissions, the judge added, should have been completed by August 1 in order to allow the defence adequate time to prepare for the Crown's arguments.

The Crown said it submitted about 4000 pages of documents – composed of chat logs sent through encrypted messaging apps and decrypted by law enforcement via UFED (Universal Forensics Extraction Device) technology – in discovery for the defence to review by August 1 but now wishes to specifically identify approximately 2000 pages to use in pursuit of convictions.

The judge said the Crown should have been able to "clearly articulate" its intent with which evidence it would like to bring forward during trial, before it began.

Lawrence Greenspon, Lich's attorney, said mid-trial requests for evidentiary changes are "not only an ongoing problem" with the prosecution's conduct but one that "overrides the trial."

Greenspon added that the defence must be able to review the hundreds of hours of video of the Freedom Convoy – including footage captured by police officers' body cams and aerial surveillance drones – from which an approximately 11-minute video compilation of clips was produced by the prosecution's first witness.

"It is a massive task" to review the entire trove of video, Greenspon noted, in order to challenge the prosecution's claim that its video montage was representative of the overall demonstration. He emphasized the video compilation's omissions: "No bouncy castles, no hockey, no hugging of police officers."

After Barber's lawyer inquired about which chat logs would be selected as evidence, the Crown responded, "We will let you know." The judge then interjected, "We are too late in the game for 'We will let you know.'"

The prosecution also played an approximately 35-minute video of a press conference featuring Barber, Lich, and Freedom Convoy volunteer Tom Marazzo produced near the end of the demonstration in February 2022. Marazzo repeatedly emphasized the "peaceful" nature of the protest and urged supporters to be compliant ahead of what he expected were soon-to-come police operations to forcibly end the demonstration.

"If this does happen, we will be absolutely peaceful," Marazzo said in the video in anticipation of the police takedown of the Freedom Convoy. "We will not be confrontational. We will not resist. We will not be violent. This is a peaceful protest," he added.

Marazzo reiterated, "I am not calling for violence." He said he didn't want Canadians supporting the Freedom Convoy with their attendance to "create problems."

Marazzo's emphasis on peaceful protesting during the press conference from February 2022 came in contrast to the prosecution's central claim that the Freedom Convoy was "anything but peaceful."

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  • By Ezra Levant

Support Tamara's Legal Defense

The Democracy Fund, a Canadian charity, is supporting Tamara Lich by crowdfunding her legal bills. The cost of expert legal representation is $300,000, which Tamara, an ordinary mom and grandma from Medicine Hat, Alberta, cannot afford. But we have a secret weapon: Lawrence Greenspon, one of Ottawa's top lawyers, is on Tamara's side. Lawrence is accustomed to handling complex and serious cases, but his team is expensive — and they are worth every penny. If you can, please chip in to help cover Tamara's legal fees.


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