Calgary

No bail for man accused of plotting to murder RCMP at Coutts border blockade

One of the four men accused of conspiring to murder RCMP officers who were policing the border blockade and protests at Coutts, Alta., has been denied bail.

Christopher Lysak, 48, faces 4 charges

Christopher Lysak, 48, appeared in court via closed-circuit TV for his bail hearing on charges that include conspiring to murder RCMP officers and threatening an RCMP officer. (Mary Haasdyk)

One of the four men accused of conspiring to murder RCMP officers who were policing the border blockade and protests at Coutts, Alta., has been denied bail.

Christopher Lysak, 48, must stay in custody pending his trial. No trial date has been set.

Lysak is charged with conspiring to murder RCMP officers, threatening an RCMP officer, mischief and a weapons offence. 

If convicted, the conspiracy to murder charge comes with a maximum sentence of life in prison.

On Tuesday, prosecutor Matt Dalidowicz argued against Lysak's release, while defence lawyer Jim Lutz told the judge his client should be granted bail.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Vaughan Hartigan ruled Lysak cannot be released but his reasons as well as the evidence and arguments presented at the hearing are all protected by a publication ban.

From left to right: Chris Carbert, 44, Anthony Olienick, 39, Jerry Morin, 40, and Christopher Lysak, 48, are each accused of conspiring to murder RCMP officers near Coutts, Alta., during the border blockade and protests. (Carbert/Facebook, Coutts Convoy Restart/Facebook, Morin/Facebook, Instagram)

Lysak was one of 13 people who were charged Feb. 14 following raids on trailers near the protest area, which resulted in the seizure of a cache of weapons and body armour.

One of the arrests was tied to an incident where, according to Mounties, a protester accelerated at officers in a semi-truck as RCMP were conducting a check stop north of Milk River. 

The driver swerved at the last moment, police said. 

Four of those charged — Lysak, Chris Carbert, 44, Anthony Olienick, 39, and Jerry Morin, 40 — face more serious charges that include conspiracy to murder RCMP officers.

Morin has a bail hearing set for Wednesday afternoon. Carbert and Olienick will have their hearings on Thursday and Friday.

Alberta RCMP submitted this photo of what they say is a cache of firearms and ammunition found in three trailers near an ongoing blockade of the Canada-U.S. border. (Submitted by Alberta RCMP)

CBC News has previously reported that Carbert and Lysak both have ties to a group with white supremacist beliefs.

Diagolon has been described by University of New Brunswick professor David Hofmann as an American-style militia movement.

Members of Diagolon want to establish a white nationalist state through violence, according to Hofmann. 

Two Diagolon patches were found on body armour seized by police during the execution of the Coutts search warrants.

Lysak appears in a photo with Jeremy MacKenzie, the founder of Diagolon.

Lysak also appears in a photo wearing a tank top with what appears to be the Diagolon symbol on the front.

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