In Canada it has become commonplace for repeat offenders, rapists, murderers, and terrorists to be released on bail, but this same luxury has not been granted to four men charged with conspiracy during the Freedom Convoy movement.
During this movement, individuals such as Tamara Lich and Pastor Artur Pawlowski were held in pre-trial custody for months on end. Many saw this as political imprisonment, especially considering they were denied bail on charges related to their proximity and advocacy towards these national peaceful demonstrations.
Currently in Alberta, Canada, four men also charged at the time have each now spent 534 days in pre-trial custody, together, that’s 2,136 days held by the state while yet to be found guilty of a crime.
Anthony Olienick, Chair Carbert, Chris Lysak, and Jerry Morin were charged with mischief over $5,000, possession of a weapon for dangerous purpose, and conspiracy to murder Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). This occurred after RCMP filed search warrants and seized multiple firearms near the Coutts Blockade. Denied bail for reasons hidden by a publication ban and facing additional delays, their jury trial is expected to take place next year in 2024, over two years after their arrests.
Regardless of whether the four accused are guilty or innocent, many wonder if this is an example of the state failing to provide timely access to justice, especially considering the Crown’s continual failure to provide timely and complete disclosure.
To provide perspective on what it’s like to be detained like this, we interviewed Pastor Artur Pawlowski, who last year spent 51 days in pre-trial custody himself. He explains the burden this was to him and his family, and what it’s like to be held by the state under such conditions. To see his full story, go to SaveArtur.com.