An Ontario court docket decide will entertain arguments that Freedom Convoy organizers Tamara Lich and Chris Barber acted as co-conspirators as a part of their felony trial, she introduced in a call Thursday.

The Crown intends to show the 2 conspired collectively in lockstep to arrange an unlawful protest, and that proof towards certainly one of them ought to apply to each.

Lich and Barber’s legal professionals requested Justice Heather Perkins-McVey to dismiss the concept out of hand, arguing there was no proof the 2 conspired collectively for an unlawful objective.

The 2 organizers face fees of mischief, intimidation and a number of other fees associated to counselling others to interrupt the regulation in reference to their position within the Ottawa demonstration in early 2022.

There’s sufficient circumstantial proof to assist listening to the Crown’s argument on the finish of the trial, Perkins-McVey stated Thursday.

“I agree with the defence {that a} plan to get the federal government to alter its views with respect to numerous mandates just isn’t essentially illegal,” she stated in her resolution.

“The problem, at this stage, is whether or not there’s a cheap inference that the means to take action are a part of an illegal widespread design.”

The convoy organizers listened to Perkins-McVey’s resolution through videoconference Thursday.

Lich and Barber’s legal professionals instructed the court docket final yr that organizing a protest just isn’t an criminality, and is protected underneath the Canadian Constitution of Rights and Freedoms.

The Crown, nevertheless, argues that rights have limits, and that Lich and Barber helped to perpetuate an “occupation” of downtown Ottawa.

The weeks-long demonstration blockaded intersections across the parliamentary precinct as protesters entrenched themselves on close by streets.

Lich and Barber’s trial started in September and was initially scheduled to complete on Oct. 13.

The trial has been on hiatus for many of the yr to date, and is anticipated to proceed properly into 2024.

By Laura Osman.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed March 7, 2024.


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