OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) – On day 24 of the Freedom Convoy leaders Tamara Lich and Chris Barber’s court trial, Judge Heather Perkins-McVey ordered the Crown to provide an unredacted document to the defense lawyers concerning internal police emails regarding a police officer phone upgrade that “wiped” the data of some devices.
The Democracy Fund (TDF), which is crowdfunding Lich’s legal costs, noted in a day 24 update that Perkins-McVey asked the Crown for the documents to be “produced immediately for her examination” unredacted.
After a review, Perkins-McVey ordered the crown to provide this document “to defence in its entirety, “unredacted,” as noted by the TDF.
Perkins-McVey also asked the Crown to provide her with an email exchange between two police officers that the Crown “claimed solicitor-client privilege.”
She decided, however, regarding the emails, that she needed more time to “deliberate, reserving her decision on the matter of the crown’s claim of solicitor-client privilege.”
As a result, these emails were not produced for the defense.
Perkins-McVey on Tuesday also again noted the highly unusual nature that two Ottawa Police Service (OPS) officers who interacted with protesters and are important witnesses in the trial, had their phone data wiped during the protests, after they were told to update their phones.
The defense for Lich and Barber had last week made two defense disclosure applications requesting information from the Crown.
Lich and Barber’s defense has thus far only received completely blacked-out documents concerning the phone wipes of the OPS officers.
Last Thursday, during Day 20 of the trial, a second police witness, Nicole Bach of the OPS Police Liaison Team (PLT), testified her police-provided phone was “wiped” of all information when asked by the judge if she had copies of vital information of conversations between her and protesters.
Bach was the second police officer in less than a week to testify that their phone was suddenly “wiped” of all data.
OPS liaison team officer Isabelle Cyr testified last week that her contacts were “wiped” clean from her phone between January 27 and February 9, 2022, which was when the main protests took place.
Officer who claimed protesters were ‘hostile’ again takes the stand to speak of a ‘final’ warning
On Day 23 of the trial, OPS Sgt. Jordan Blonde claimed that protesters were “hostile” after being told to clear out of the city’s downtown core after emergency laws were enacted despite the fact that during the clear-out a woman got trampled by a horse.
He told the court that he was tasked with giving out an “information leaflet” to protesters regarding an agreed “moving day” of trucks on February 14, 2022, from residential areas to Wellington Street. Barber had said he could not get the trucks moving right away as police cruisers were blocking the way.
On Tuesday, he again took the stand and described how there was an influx of people on the weekends during the Freedom Convoy protests, who made loud noises.
Blonde told the court about an additional engagement he had with protesters on February 19, 2022. In this interaction, he said that (Public Order Unit) officers were “pushing protesters westward,” as noted by the TDF.
“He said he communicated messages like ‘clear the intersection’ at Metcalfe Street and Sparks Street, which echoed the content of the flyers he distributed. He stated that the consequence of not leaving the area was ‘arrest,’” as noted by the TDF.
Blonde then told the court about “final messaging” given to protesters on February 19, 2022.
This “final” message resulted in a few protesters leaving, but many remained.
The TDF noted that Blonde “described those who remained as ‘hellbent on being arrested’” and that he witnessed “slow and methodical” arrests conducted by POU officers.
In early 2022, the Freedom Convoy saw thousands of Canadians from coast to coast come to Ottawa to demand an end to COVID mandates in all forms. Despite the peaceful nature of the protest, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government enacted the Emergencies Act on February 14, the same day as “moving day.”
During the clear-out of protesters, after the EA was put in place, one protester, an elderly lady, was trampled by a police horse and one conservative female reporter was beaten by police and shot with a tear gas canister.
Trudeau revoked the EA on February 23.
Lich and Barber’s trial has thus far taken more time than originally planned due to the slow pace of the Crown calling its witnesses. LifeSiteNews has been covering the trial extensively.
Last week, bail-related charges placed against Lich for attending an awards ceremony were stayed by the Crown in a move that comes during her weeks-long trial for leading the convoy, which is separate from her bond charges.