Multiple additional criminal charges laid against ‘Freedom Convoy’ organizers

Tamara Lich, Chris Barber, Pat King and Tyson “Freedom George” Billings faced the new charges during separate court appearances Thursday.

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Crown prosecutors added intimidation charges to a raft of new criminal counts laid against key accused “Freedom Convoy” organizers Tamara Lich, Chris Barber, Pat King and Tyson “Freedom George” Billings during separate court appearances Thursday.

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Lich and Barber are now jointly charged with counseling mischief, counseling intimidation, counseling to obstruct police, intimidation and mischief. Lich had previously been charged with mischief and counseling to commit mischief; Barber had been charged with mischief, counseling to commit mischief, counseling to disobey a court order and counseling to obstruct police.

Lich appeared in Superior Court by video link Thursday from Alberta, where she resides under bail conditions that include the strict supervision of a court-approved surety.

Barber and Lich were both arrested Feb. 17, and Barber was released on bail the following day. Lich was initially denied bail, but was released March 7 following a bail review hearing.

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Tamara Lich appeared for Thursday's court appearance in Ottawa by video from Alberta, where she resides.
Tamara Lich appeared for Thursday’s court appearance in Ottawa by video from Alberta, where she resides. Photo by Errol McGihon /post media

King appeared in a separate court session Thursday from the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, where he has been held since his arrest Feb. 18, part of the mass arrests that brought an end to the three-week demonstration by the so-called “Freedom Convoy.” King was denied bailFeb. 24, with the justice of the peace citing concern he may reoffend and expressing doubt in the reliability of King’s proposed surety.

King apologized for “all this nonsense” at one point Thursday as two different lawyers requested time to speak with him in a private “breakout” session in the midst of the virtual court hearing.

During another court appearance earlier this week, King and his lawyer, Cal Rosemond, both complained about the difficulty they had in contacting each other while King was at the jail.

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King had been facing four charges related to the demonstration, including mischief and counseling charges, and on Thursday learned he now faced 10 total counts and was being charged as a co-accused with Billings.

Billings, who had been due for his own court date Thursday, will instead appear by videoconference on Friday after he was moved from OCDC to the Quinte Detention Center near Napanee, according to his defense lawyer, Jake Chadi, who is based in Edmonton.

King now faces additional counts of intimidation and obstructing police, counseling to commit intimidation, counseling to commit mischief, counseling to obstruct police and disobeying a court order.

Rosemond told court he was appearing “as a courtesy” and had not yet been officially retained as King’s defense counsel.

He asked for an adjournment until April 4 and suggested King may be preparing a bail review application, a mechanism Lich used to successfully overturn the judge’s decision that initially denied her bail.

Assistant Crown Attorney Tara Dobec told court the Crown believed King was “not entitled” to a bail review hearing.

Lich is set to return to virtual court later in April to argue whether the court has jurisdiction to review her release conditions, in particular the condition restricting her social media access.

With files from Matthew Lapierre

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