Lich is no threat, lawyer Greenspon argues, while she sits in jail
By Thomas More —
OTTAWA —Freedom Convoy leader Tamara Lich has no criminal record, is not a threat to the public, and there is no reason to keep her in jail, argued her criminal lawyer Lawrence Greenspon in Ottawa court on July 5.
Lich was arrested in Medicine Hat for breach of probation on June 27. The crown argued that her bail conditions require her not to be in the presence of Tom Marazzo, with whom she met at a recent public dinner in Toronto where Lich was honoured with a freedom award. Marazzo is a former military captain who was asked to come to Ottawa during the freedom convoy protest and liaised with police to keep protest vehicles in designated areas to allow for continued flow of traffic.
The court learned that Lich and Marazzo sat at the same table at the Toronto dinner, were photographed together and court saw a three-second video in which Marazzo congratulated Lich.
Greenspon argued that it was impossible for the two to conspire to commit an offence while at a public gathering in which their lawyers were present. The bail condition allows for the two to communicate in the presence of lawyers, Greenspon said.
However, crown lawyer Moiz Karimjee argued that the two were only allowed to communicate in the presence of lawyers for legal purposes. Greenspon argued that the conditions were not that specific.
Lich will have been in jail for 12 days when Ontario justice of the Peace Paul Harris decides her fate on Friday, July 8.
Greenspon argued: “Show me a single case in jurisprudential history of a breach of non-com (non-communication) resulting in the continued detention of someone with no criminal record.”
He added that the respect for rule of law is evident in that she complied with all other conditions of her bail, including not going on social media, he said. After four months of release and “all they’ve got is a congratulatory three-second video and photo op” that included of six people at a gala, he added.
“Doe this court really need to detain Ms. Lich for what she did in Toronto?” Greenspon called her actions “minimal at worst and not a violation at best.”
While the crown argued that Lich used her dinner speech in Toronto to glorify the Ottawa occupation in February, Greenspon pointed out that if she had glorified the occupation “we would have been here on another breach.”
While the crown attorney noted that a firearm was not used by Lich, her offence was a serious crime, although none of the charges against her have been tested in court. “This is the first time that a whole city, the downtown core of a city, was occupied for three weeks,” Karimjee said.
The three-week protest in February included vehicles that partially blocked six north-south streets as far south as Somerset and several east-West streets. Wellington Street in front of Parliament Hill included an open lane for emergency vehicles. The protest did not block the second major east-west downtown route — Laurier Avenue. Police vehicles blocked east-west traffic on Laurier.
The small Number Four court room was filled with about 20 spectators, about half of whom were journalists. Tamara Lich appeared by video.