Tamara Lich Trial Day 36: Crown and defence dispute breadth of proposed video evidence

Lich's defence team argues Crown is 'cherry-picking' video evidence in the case stemming from the 2022 protest against COVID restrictions.

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A dispute over a submission of an evidentiary exhibit from the Crown consumed the entirety court proceedings on the 36th day of the Chris Barber and Tamara Lich trial in Ottawa, ON, on Wednesday.

Barber and Lich are charged with crimes connected to their involvement with the 2022 Freedom Convoy, a peaceful demonstration involving civil disobedience against decrees, edicts, orders, mandates, and lockdowns imposed by all levels of government and marketed as "public health" measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission.

The two defendants are charged with mischief, intimidation, obstruction of police, and counselling others to commit mischief, intimidation, and obstruction of police.

The Crown seeks to admit a selfie video produced by Lich and published to her Facebook profile as a piece of evidence. Eric Granger, one of Lich's lawyers, requested that this evidentiary exhibit be broadened to include other selfie videos produced by Lich and posted to her Facebook account.

He argued that such expansion of the exhibit to include more of his client's videos would provide a complete and comprehensive context to the statements.

"They're not part of a continuum," Justice Heather Perkins-McVey, the trial's judge, said to Granger about the separate selfie videos made by Lich. She added, "They're not part of a broader narrative."

Perkins-McVey's tentative assessment was at odds with Granger's framing of the different videos, with the judge describing them as amounting to distinct statements and Granger characterizing them as requiring consolidation in the context of an evidentiary submission.

Neither the Crown nor defence teams completed their arguments on this matter during the day's proceedings, which will continue on Thursday and Friday.

Last week, a brief session of proceedings lasting about fifteen minutes was dedicated to the judge issuing her ruling on a motion submitted by the defence to preemptively reject a forthcoming application coming from the Crown.

The Crown has stated its intention to submit a Carter application near the conclusion of the trial, which, if approved, would allow for statements made by Barber to be attributed to Lich.

A Carter application, if accepted by a judge, applies a framework of conspiracy upon the defendants, which allows for evidence against one accused to be applied to all others.

If applied, it presumes that the defendants conspired to execute unlawful acts, and that actions proven to be executed by any of the defendants in furtherance of the alleged criminal acts be viewed through a lens and coordination and consent between all accused parties.

Last Thursday, Perkins-McVey denied Lich's defence's motion to preemptively dismiss the Crown's pending Carter application, which means the Crown will be permitted to submit its Carter application near the trial's conclusion. At the time, the defence will offer its arguments against the then-submitted Carter application's specific details, and the judge will determine the validity of the Crown's request.

For a Carter application to be accepted, the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendants conspired to execute an unlawful act or acts, and that the defendants executed actions in furtherance of their agreed-upon criminal goal.

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