It has been 524 days since Anthony Olienick, Chris Carbert, Chris Lysak, and Jerry Morin, were arrested and charged during the Coutts Blockade.
Multiple publication bans have been issued, and the crown prosecutor continues to fail to provide timely and complete disclosure. Those involved will be in court next week, but it will likely take much longer than that for these men to no longer be held in pre-trial custody. The four men were supporters of the Coutts Blockade and attended the 18-day peaceful demonstrations, which blocked the largest international border crossing Alberta has with the United States.
This blockade was in protest against vaccine mandates and covid restrictions, a sister protest to the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa, and the hundreds if not thousands of demonstrations across Canada at the time.
The four were arrested on February 13th and 14th, 2022, during the execution of warrants near the Coutts Blockade, which arose from the execution of ITOs, warrants that didn’t require a judge’s signature before being undergone. They face multiple charges, including mischief, weapons, and conspiracy to murder RCMP.
Their arrests occurred hours before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Invoked the Emergencies Act to control peaceful demonstrations across the nation, by any means necessary. Many argue Trudeau capitalized on the arrests to show justification for the use of force by police to remove peaceful protesters, notably in Ottawa. In Coutts, before Trudeau could announce this, demonstrators decided upon hearing the news of the arrests, that it was time to end the blockade, to send a message that this was a peaceful movement.
The four were denied bail last summer, with reasoning hidden by one of many publication bans. Multiple publication bans have been sought by defendants, preventing some details of the story from being revealed at this time. Rebel News is in the process of obtaining and reviewing these documents, to understand just how much is off the record. We will provide updates on this in the near future.
This July 25th-28th the four are to be back in court, with one attending the Monday before, wherein the judge is expected to make a ruling on a smaller issue to the main trial. We will provide further updates on the proceedings from the courthouse as they occur.
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The four men were back in court in early June, which was originally set to be their three-week trial. Instead, an adjournment was called. Defence Lawyer Greg Dunn for one of the accused, asked the judge to order the Crown to provide disclosure.
“There are three breaches that have been made by the Crown in this ongoing matter...one, failure to provide full disclosure; two, failure to provide timely disclosure; three, failure or refusal to respond to additional disclosure requests.”
- Defence Lawyer Greg Dunn
At that time there had been 13 disclosure packages provided to Dunn, some just days before that court appearance. Not being able to provide disclosure documents in a full and timely manner is a serious issue, and unfortunately all too common.
We’ve heard from Chad Williamson of Williamson Law previously, who informed us of exactly what this can mean for the defence.
Chris Scott, the owner of the Whistle Stop Café, decided to stay open during the pandemic, allegedly lacking compliance with draconian Alberta Health Services COVID mandates at his restaurant & gas station which supplied his entire town. It was discovered in that case that a mountain of evidence against him was not originally provided, and did not show favourable for AHS.
Barrister & Solicitor Martin Rejman, of Williamson Law, highlighted for us in today's interview, the level of obligation a Crown Prosecutor has in providing disclosure, even if that evidence works against the prosecutor's claims on the accused. We also discussed what impact new evidence favourable to the defence would have if other cases were reliant on the same disclosure information.
Remember, the four men from Coutts were the ones who faced the most serious charges and have been held in pre-trial custody for over 520 days, but many other cases from Coutts have yet to make their way through the courts, notably for others arrested during the execution of those same warrants, who have much less serious charges. This delayed and incomplete providing of disclosures may also prove to be a hindrance in other cases.
Here at Rebel News, we’ve been following this story from the very beginning and will continue to do so to the very end to see what justice is had for these four men. I still remember seeing two of them arrested in person, and now it’s been over 500 days they’ve spent locked up, without yet having been found guilty of a single crime.
To help us cover the costs of attending the four men’s court proceedings next, and obtaining relevant documents, so we can bring you the coverage mainstream media won’t, go to RebelInvestigates.com.