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Lawyer says 'Freedom Convoy' organizer Tamara Lich arrested

In May, a judge ruled Lich could remain on bail until her trial after a Crown prosecutor argued she'd violated one of her bail conditions.
2022-03-07 tamara lich
Tamara Lich, organizer for a protest convoy by truckers and supporters demanding an end to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, delivers a statement during a news conference in Ottawa, Thursday, February 3, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

A lawyer for "Freedom Convoy" organizer Tamara Lich says the Alberta woman has been arrested.

Eric Granger confirmed in an email Monday evening that they were awaiting further details, but the arrest appeared to be related to Lich's bail conditions.

He could not confirm the location of the arrest, but another lawyer who has also represented Lich, Keith Wilson, said on Twitter that the arrest happened Monday in Medicine Hat, Alta., where Lich lives.

A judge initially denied Lich bail after her arrest during the massive protest that overtook downtown Ottawa for more than three weeks in February, but she was released in March after a review of the court decision.

Lich and fellow protest organizer Chris Barber are jointly accused of mischief, obstructing police, counselling others to commit mischief and intimidation.

She was released with a long list of conditions, including a ban from all social media and an order not to "support anything related to the Freedom Convoy."

"We are not aware of anything that could have prompted this and are surprised by this development given the recent bail review hearing in Ontario where Ms. Lich's positive record for complying with her conditions was one reason why some of her conditions were relaxed at that time," Granger wrote in an email to The Canadian Press.

Medicine Hat police did not immediately respond to a request to confirm if Lich had been arrested there.

In May, an Ontario judge ruled Lich could remain on bail until her trial after a Crown prosecutor argued she'd violated one of her bail conditions by agreeing to accept an award for her leadership during the Ottawa protest, and should be sent back behind bars to wait for her court appearance.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips said he made his decision because Lich had followed her bail conditions, her surety supervised her well and she'd already had a "taste of jail," which he said lowered her risk to reoffend.

Phillips amended her release conditions to allow her to visit Ottawa, but not the downtown core. He maintained the ban on Lich's access to social media, saying that prohibiting such access remained warranted.

Defence lawyer Michael Spratt told The Rob Snow Show on Tuesday, June 28 that Lich could have a more difficult time getting bail again. 

"It's hard to give someone a second chance if they have spun their nose at the rules," he said. "And that depends on the nature of the allegations and what is the strength of the cross case in terms of the breach."

Spratt said the circumstances will be become clearer when she appears in an Ottawa court. 

"We will know if the crown is seeking to revoke her prior bail, I would assume that would be happening," he said. "We will have to see if she asks for a publication ban, and we might not know the circumstances of the breach until the matter is adjudicated."

Spratt said there are circumstances which may prove bail was not breached, for example, missing a curfew if delayed by a collision. 

It will be up to an Ottawa judge to look at the merits of the new charge.

Listen to the full interview with Michael Spratt below: 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 27, 2022.

With files from CityNews Ottawa. 

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