The two defence counsels for Chris Barber and Tamara Lich began their arguments on the 28th day of the two co-defendants' trial on Monday in Ottawa, ON.
Both Barber and Lich are charged with crimes linked to their roles are organizers of the 2022 Freedom Convoy, a peaceful demonstration in the nation's capital against governmentally-issued decrees, edicts, orders, mandates, and lockdowns marketed as "public health" measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
Eric Granger, one of Lich's lawyers, argued against a pending Carter application from the Crown. A Carter application, if approved by a judge, allows all incriminating evidence against one co-defendant to be used against other co-defendants in a criminal trial.
Adam Blake-Gallipeau, a lawyer with The Democracy Fund, explained that this Carter application, if accepted by Justice Heather Perkins-McVey - the judge overseeing the Lich and Barber Trial - would allow all statements made by Barber and used as evidence by the prosecution to also be attributable to Lich.
Granger emphasized that of the 16 witnesses summoned by the Crown to testify, none had direct communications with Lich in the context of the Freedom Convoy demonstration.
He also noted that of the fourteen witnesses who spent appreciable time amid the Freedom Convoy in downtown Ottawa, none had made any direct observations of Lich about which they provided testimony.
The Crown failed "to meet the standard" of a successful Carter application, Granger added, noting that a conspiracy between co-defendants in pursuit of "an unlawful common design" must be demonstrated for a Carter application to be accepted.
Granger highlighted Lich's and Barber's shared goal with the Freedom Convoy as "ending mandates and lockdowns". Pursuing changes to government policy, he continued, is not unlawful.
The criteria required for a Carter application to be approved are "incapable of being met" in accordance with case law and precedent, he added.
Granger spent the final few hours of proceedings sharing remarks from Lich communicated via text messages to Barber and made publicly via social media and other outlets during the Freedom Convoy protest.
The remarks he shared included Lich's regular emphasis on the need for "peaceful" and "lawful" assembly.
"What the Crown is trying to show is that there is evidence that Lich was involved in some sort of plan to commit a crime," Granger told Rebel News.
"What we are attempting to show in opposition to that is – at every turn, both publicly and privately – by text message, Facebook message, video message, press conference, and so on, and so forth, the message from Lich is entirely consistent and is entirely about being peaceful, being lawful, being unified … all of which is entirely inconsistent with this theory that she is somehow part of some plan to commit a crime."
The trial resumes on Tuesday, with the Crown expected to respond to Lich's defence team's arguments regarding its pending Carter application submission.