July 20th, 2024

Judge grants accused in border protest a third bail review

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on November 10, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

One of four men denied bail on a charge of conspiring to kill RCMP officers during a border protest last year, will be allowed to have his detention reviewed in the coming weeks.

Madam Justice Johnna Kubik, during a hearing Wednesday in Lethbridge Court of King’s Bench, granted leave for Chris Carbert to have a detention review, despite being denied bail on two previous occasions.

Kubik said Carbert “has met the threshhold” to engage Section 520 of the Criminal Code, which places the onus on an accused to show on a balance of probabilities why the current detention order should be vacated. That can be established by showing there has been a material change in circumstances that would entitle an accused to a bail review.

Although publishing details of Wednesday’s detention review is prohibited by a court-ordered ban, at the conclusion of Wednesday’s hearing, Kubik said the Crown and defence can schedule a bail hearing to argue the merits of whether Carbert should be released.

Kubik first detained Carbert during a bail hearing on May 27, 2022, and he was later detained again in front of another judge following a second detention review.

Three other men charged with conspiracy to commit murder, Christopher Lysak, Anthony Olienick and Jerry Morin, were also denied bail previously. All four men are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, and were set to stand trial for three weeks beginning June 12, before it was adjourned so the accused can schedule a series of pre-trial applications before Justice David Labrenz. Defence is also expected to apply to have the trial moved to another jurisdiction.

The 2022 blockade paralyzed the busy U.S. border crossing at Coutts for more than two weeks in January and February as protesters railed against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and broader pandemic health restrictions. At one point the RCMP became aware of small group of people who were prepared to use force against police, and officers subsequently seized from three trailers, long guns, handguns, multiple sets of body armour, a machete, a large quantity of ammunition and high-capacity firearm magazines.

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