The four men accused of plotting to murder RCMP officers during the Coutts border protests will be tried together, according to prosecutors who spoke during court appearances on Monday.
Chris Lysak, Chris Carbert, Anthony Olienick and Jerry Morin each face charges of conspiracy to kill, possession of a weapon and mischief.
The four, along with 10 others facing lesser charges, made brief appearances in Lethbridge court on Monday as defense attorneys and prosecutors move cases forward.
Lysak “waits and waits”
Prosecutors Aaron Rankin and Matt Dalidowicz have indicated that the Crown intends to arrange a trial for the four conspiracy defendants.
Dalidowicz said the Carbert, Olienick and Morin cases are “moving quickly” and the Crown expects to join the cases “at short notice”.
Due to this plan, Lysak was not allowed to book a trial although his lawyer offered dates in January 2023.
Lysak remains in custody after being denied bail in March.
“He waits and waits,” attorney Alias Saunders said on behalf of Lysak’s attorney, Jim Lutz.
“Mr. Lysak is being held and Mr. Lutz would like to set dates.”
Defense attorneys for the 14 men and women facing blockade-related charges said they were waiting for the prosecution to hand over to them the documents used to substantiate the search warrants executed as part of the investigation.
Most of the defendants will be back in court on May 16.
Carbert and Morin have set bail hearings to take place in May and June, with Olienick planning to set a date for his release request in the coming weeks.
Defense lawyers James Mcleod and Balfour Der told the judge on Monday that their client wanted a preliminary hearing.
In February, RCMP raided trailers near the Coutts border protest area. These raids resulted in the seizure of a cache of weapons and bulletproof vests.
One of the arrests was related to an incident where, according to the RCMP, a protester sped over officers in a tractor-trailer while the RCMP were carrying out a traffic stop north of Milk River.
The driver swerved at the last moment, police said.
Ties to white supremacist groups
CBC News previously reported that Carbert and Lysak both had ties to a group with white supremacist beliefs.
Two Diagolon patches were found on body armor seized by police while executing Coutts search warrants.
Diagolon has been described by University of New Brunswick professor David Hofmann as an American-style militia movement.
Diagolon members want to establish a white nationalist state through violence, according to Hofmann. Lysak appears in a photo with Jeremy MacKenzie, the founder of Diagolon.
Lysak also appears in a photo wearing a tank top with what appears to be the Diagolon symbol on the front.