June 16th, 2024

Further adjournment in Coutts pastor case

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on March 12, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

The lawyer for Calgary pastor Artur Pawlowski, who has been remanded since his arrest last month for participating in the freedom blockade at Coutts, is still waiting for direction from her client before deciding how best to proceed with his charges.
During a brief hearing Friday in Lethbridge provincial court, Calgary lawyer Sarah Miller requested an adjournment and explained she only received disclosure from the Crown’s office Thursday, and needs time to review it with Pawlowski and get his instructions.
Crown Prosecutor Matt Dalidowicz agreed with an adjournment to April 1, and although he said he is ready to proceed with the case, he acknowledged defence will need time to review the “substantive” amount of disclosure.
“The Crown is ready now to set this matter down for either a trial or disposition,” Dalidowicz said.
Pawlowski was detained at the Calgary Remand Centre after he was denied bail in February. Lethbridge Judge Erin Olsen agreed with the Crown’s concerns that Pawlowski will re-offend and undermine the public’s confidence in the administration of justice, if he is released.
“There is a substantial likelihood that the accused will, if released from custody, commit a criminal offence or interfere with the administration of justice,” Olsen said on Feb. 16. “The accused’s pattern of behaviour speaks volumes about his willful commission of offences and/or violations of court and public health orders.”
Pawlowski, 48, faces, in relation to his attendance at the freedom protest at the Coutts border, criminal charges of breaching a release order to keep the peace and committing mischief by inciting others to block the lawful use of public property. He also faces a charge under the provincial Critical Infrastructure Defence Act. He was arrested Feb. 8 at his home in Calgary.
Pawlowski, a Polish immigrant who grew up under Communist oppression before emigrating to Canada, made international headlines after he was arrested last May for holding worship services during Calgary’s COVID lockdown.
His latest arrest in February came only days after he attended the protest in Coutts, during which he gave a speech at Smugglers Saloon and is heard in a video telling protestors to not give up the fight against government mandates.
“You have power now, don’t give it away,” Pawlowski said. “The eyes of the world, again, are on this little border, and the world is watching you. Will you give in? Will you stop fighting for the rights of the free Canadians?”

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