Setting of trial dates for men accused in Alberta border blockade delayed a month

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LETHBRIDGE, Alta. – Setting of trial dates for 4 men charged with conspiracy to commit homicide at a border blockade in southern Alberta has been delayed one other month after one of the accused fired his lawyer.

Court in Lethbridge, Alta., was informed Monday that Chris Carbert dismissed his lawyer, so the case was adjourned till July 11.

Carbert — together with Chris Lysak, Anthony Olienick and Jerry Morin — and have been amongst 14 individuals charged in February after RCMP discovered a cache of lengthy weapons, handguns, physique armour, massive quantities of ammunition and high-capacity magazines in three trailers at a protest close to Coutts, Alta.

The protest towards COVID-19 vaccine mandates and different pandemic restrictions started in late January and lasted for virtually three weeks. Police allege a group on the protest was keen to make use of pressure if the blockade was disrupted and described the risk as “very serious.’’

Prosecutor Steve Johnston confirmed that he plans to go ahead with direct indictments for all four men who will be tried together. Direct indictment eliminates the need for a preliminary hearing before trial.

“This is the first appearance on the direct indictment,” mentioned Johnston.

Carbert, who had retained Calgary defence lawyer Balfour Der, has changed him with Clayton Rice.

“We had a tentative date for case management set and obviously Mr. Carbert discharged his counsel, so we’re in a little bit of limbo here,” Johnston mentioned.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Dallas Miller agreed to adjourn the matter however ordered that the 2 separate trial dates that had been mentioned be stored obtainable.

“I put it on the defence to confirm whether there’s any possibility of a re-election and whether the Crown is agreeable to that,” mentioned Miller, referring to the choice by the accused to be tried earlier than a choose and jury.

“If there is … we’re quite certain we can get an earlier trial date.”

A re-election may shorten the timing if it was earlier than a choose alone.

Alias Sanders, showing on behalf of Lysak’s lawyer Jim Lutz, mentioned that’s doubtless not going to occur.

“He’s been anxious to get this matter moving and in the past two months … it hasn’t moved from Mr. Lysak’s perspective at all,” Sanders mentioned.

“Mr. Lysak was the first to have a bail hearing, he was the first to make an election and he has just been sitting in custody. His hands have been tied by what’s been happening with the remainder of the co-accused. He’s been trying to get a date for two months.”

Lysak can also be charged with uttering threats, possession of a weapon and mischief to property over $5,000.

Johnston additionally mentioned the Crown acquired volumes of new proof final week which will probably be shared with the defence.

Three of the 4 accused have already been denied bail and can stay in custody till their trial.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed June 13, 2022.


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