Freedom Convoy leaders face new criminal charges

The Crown brought further charges against three key leaders of the so-called Freedom Convoy.

Tamara Lich, Chris Barber and Pat King all appeared in court virtually Thursday, just over a month after the weeks-long occupation of downtown Ottawa ended.

Lich was behind a now-discontinued GoFundMe campaign that has raised more than $10 million to support protests in Ottawa.

She was arrested on February 17, denied bail, but then released from prison on March 7 on the condition that she leaves Ottawa within 24 hours, refrains from using social media and has no contact with certain co-organizers.

Chris Barber, another key organizer, was arrested along with Lich but released a day later under similar conditions.

Barber has so far faced charges including counseling to commit mischief, counseling to disobey a court order, counseling to obstruct police and mischief that interferes with the use and enjoyment of property. .

Lich has just been charged with counseling to commit mischief.

On Thursday, however, the Crown submitted “new information” from Ottawa police, which laid out six counts for Barber and Lich.

According to a relayed briefing document, the two are jointly charged with mischief, counseling mischief, obstructing police, counseling to obstruct police, counseling intimidation, and intimidation by blocking and obstructing one or more highways.

In the Ontario Court of Justice on Thursday, Barber and Lich’s defense attorney, Diane Magas, said she would like to review the new information and charges with her clients.

Lich and Barber are both due in court in April.

Magas said Thursday that she would like to have a bail review to change the terms of Lich’s social media ban. The Crown, however, said it would be up to the court to decide whether it had jurisdiction to consider the terms further.

King charged with intimidation and obstruction of police

King, an Alberta resident and one of the most vocal leaders of the three-week occupation, was facing four charges stemming from his February 18 arrest, which he broadcast live to thousands of viewers .

The court heard on Thursday that he now faces additional new charges, bringing the total to 10:

  • Two heads of bullying.
  • Two counts of obstruction to the police.
  • One count of disobeying a court order.
  • One count of intimidation.

King had previously been charged with mischief, advising to commit mischief, advising to obstruct police and advising to disobey a court order. These fees remain.

He was summoned to his hearing Thursday from the Ottawa Carleton Detention Center where he has been held since his bail was denied late last month.

While the Crown argued that King was not entitled to another bail hearing, attorney Cal Rosemond – who had not been hired by King but was in court on his behalf – argued that he deserved one, given the “very different” nature of the new charges.

King is also now listed as a co-defendant with Tyson George Billings, who was arrested on similar charges last weekend as police finally cleared the occupation.

King’s next court appearance is scheduled for April 4.