Accused convoy organizer Pat King complained he’s had little contact with his prospective legal team as he made a brief court appearance Monday and was given three days to “try to sort this out” before he returns to court Thursday.
“I need to discuss (this) with somebody because there’s supposed to be a team of lawyers working together on this and it doesn’t seem like any one of them know what’s going on,” King said via videolink from the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Center.
“So, if something’s going on, I’d like to speak with somebody,” King told the judge. “Yes sir, I would.”
King has been held at the Innes Road jail since he was taken into custody during the mass arrests on Feb. 18 that brought an end to the three-week demonstration by the so-called “Freedom Convoy”.
King was charged with mischief and counseling others to commit mischief. He was denied bail on Feb. 24, with the justice of the peace citing concern he may reoffend, while expressing doubt in the reliability of King’s proposed surety.
Cal Rosemond, King’s Toronto-based lawyer, told court Monday he had only been retained for those early hearings and had little opportunity to consult with his client in the meantime.
Rosemond said he “got looped along” and was assisting in the case “as a courtesy.”
He asked court to adjourn the matter until Thursday to allow time for King to “consult with his prospective lawyers to see what the path going forward is.”
Rosemond also made a formal request for disclosure from the Crown.
Justice of the Peace Stephen Dibblee issued another stern warning to observers in the online public gallery who once again appeared to be live-streaming the court proceedings — a contravention of established law and of longstanding courtroom decorum.
At one point during the proceedings, even King appeared to be pleading with those observers to stop.
“We’re hoping to get a publication ban on this (hearing) due to a co-accused who continuously keeps putting these on social media, which is detrimental to our case,” King told the judge.
King was told a publication ban, which would restrict publication of certain details of the hearing, would not be possible without first filing a written application from his lawyer.
The law that forbids people from broadcasting or live-streaming court remains in effect, though, the judge noted.
“There is legislation in place,” Dibblee said. “Mr. King, himself, is asking that (live-streaming) not be happening, so again, that’s even his own wishes.”
King had initially been set for an appearance Friday, when two different lawyers had been scheduled to appear on his behalf. That hearing was held over until Monday’s session.
“There’s a lot of people working on this case with me, so I guess there’s some communication barriers that need to be put down and we’ll work on that here ASAP,” King told the judge Monday.
“For the record, it has been tremendously difficult to gain access to the phones for Mr. King to be able to communicate with his counsel,” Rosemond told court.
“Some of the problem lies with the institution and the systems in place to facilitate contact with counsel.”
King is expected to return Thursday with a lawyer.