- After a court overturned an earlier decision that had put Tamara Lich in custody, she was released on bail for the second time.
- The Crown had argued that Lich should get a 10-year prison sentence because of the protest’s effects on the city and its citizens.
- Crown attorney Moiz Karimjee cross-examined Lich on the witness stand before the decision was made and questioned her about her financial situation.
Tamara Lich, the organizer of an Ottawa demonstration, was released on bail for the second time after a court reversed an earlier judgment that had sent her to detention.
When Lich left the Ottawa courthouse on Tuesday, she was surrounded by fans and exclaimed, “I’m delighted to be free and out.” She had been detained since June 27 on suspicion of violating the terms of her bail.
Judge Andrew Goodman of the Superior Court stated that when ordering Lich’s continued imprisonment on June 27, the justice of the peace who presided over her show-cause hearing committed multiple legal errors and misunderstood some facts.
Lich was charged with violating the bail restriction that forbade her from speaking with Tom Marazzo, the former spokesman for the Freedom Convoy, or the other ten protest organizers. They were caught sitting at the same table at a Freedom Award event in Toronto in June.
The breach claim, according to Goodman, is “tenuous” and not “rationally connected” to the purpose of the non-communication order, which was to stop the planning of another Freedom Convoy protest.
He disagreed with the justice of the peace over the seriousness of the charges, which is an important consideration in bail decisions. He claimed that it is doubtful she would receive a harsh jail sentence if found guilty.
Due to the impact of the protest on the city and its residents, the Crown had contended that Lich should receive a prison term of up to 10 years.
Goodman stated in his ruling that “Ms. Lich is considered to be innocent” and added that there is “tension regarding the degree to which she will be held accountable” for the protest.
Nothing in these justifications, according to Goodman, “is intended to diminish the harm done to Ottawa citizens” or the expenses incurred by the various tiers of government.
Lich went back to court to request that the conditions be changed so that she may attend the gala, as Goodman observed that she had complied with all the previous bail conditions imposed on her for almost four months.
The defense attorneys for Lich expressed satisfaction with the decision.
“We’re sorry that it took almost a month in custody to get to this point, but we’re glad at the end today,” said attorney Eric Granger outside the court. “That the order detaining her was incorrect, and that’s now been reversed, and she’s been released.”
Before the verdict, Crown prosecutor Moiz Karimjee cross-examined Lich on the witness stand and inquired about her financial position. Lich reported receiving almost $69,000 in donations for her legal defense.
In court, Karijmee showed a TikTok video in which a different protest leader allegedly said Lich had earlier indicated support for a scheme to purchase a home in Ottawa to use as a base for the demonstrations.
Lich, however, insisted that she was not a part of a group called The United People of Canada’s scheme to buy a disused church in the ByWard Market and convert it into an “embassy.”
In addition, Lich informed the court that her husband Dwayne Lich had flown to Ottawa for the protest on a chartered plane funded by the Adopt-a-Trucker fundraiser, not a private plane as Dwayne Lich claimed in his testimony in February.
About the three-week takeover of Ottawa’s downtown, Lich, 49, is still facing several criminal charges, such as mischief, counseling intimidation, and counseling obstruction of a police officer.
In August, a pre-trial hearing is scheduled.
Source: CTV News
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