The proceedings of Chris Barber’s and Tamara Lich’s criminal trial’s twenty-ninth day in Ottawa, ON, primarily dealt with a dispute between the Crown and defence teams over applicability of evidence between the two co-defendants.
Eric Granger, Lich’s co-counsel, asked Justice Heather Perkins-McVey to reject a pending Carter application from the Crown. A Carter application, if approved by a judge, allows incriminating evidence against one co-defendant to be attributed to other co-defendants.
Granger said the evidence provided by the prosecution, which ended its arguments last week, failed to fulfill the criteria required for a successful Carter application.
The Carter application exists to create a framework where co-conspirators can be jointly incriminated by evidence that, in isolation of this framework, would only incriminate one or some of them. In other words, an accepted Carter application assumes that all co-defendants are…
— Robert Kraychik (@rkraychik) November 28, 2023
He explained how a conspiracy to fulfill a “common unlawful design” between co-defendants must be demonstrated by the Crown in order for a Carter application to be acceptable. Such an agreement between Barber and Lich had not been demonstrated by the prosecution’s evidence, he added.
The criteria for a proper Carter application is “incapable of being met” given the “absence of evidence” of a criminal conspiracy between Barber and Lich, Granger maintained. Granger said the Crown failed “to meet the standard of Carter” and that its “[Carter] application ought not proceed any further.”
Diane Magas, Barber’s lawyer, read several statements issued by her client – both publicly and privately via text messages to Lich and others before and during the Freedom Convoy – in the days leading up to the Freedom Convoy’s arrival in Ottawa.
Many of Barber’s statements read by Magas emphasized her client’s call for “peaceful” demonstrations and compliance with law enforcement.
Barber also told Freedom Convoy demonstrators via social media videos and posts that they should be considerate and mindful of negative impacts on Ottawa residents. He called on supporters to be respectful of Ottawans. “They didn’t ask for this,” Barber said of Ottawa residents in a video published to his TikTok profile.
Magas said the the statements she shared from Barber demonstrate “the total opposite” of any conspiratorial attempt to commit a crime. The judge stated that she would likely issue a decision on the prosecution’s Carter application submission next week.