Freedom Convoy leader Tamara Lich arrested in Alberta, accused of breaching bail conditions
Lich told her lawyer she is expecting to be taken to Ontario in the next week
Freedom Convoy leader Tamara Lich has been rearrested in Medicine Hat, Alta., for allegedly breaching her bail conditions, her lawyers have confirmed.
Lich was taken into custody Monday evening, according to Keith Wilson, who represents Lich on her non-criminal cases including a lawsuit.
The Medicine Hat Police Service says Lich is charged with one count of failing to comply with her release order in a warrant issued by Ontario authorities, which means she is alleged to have breached her condition in that province.
She must appear in court in Ontario within six days. Police say Lich will be taken to Ottawa and is due to appear in court in that city this week.
Eric Granger, who is one of Lich's criminal defence lawyers also confirmed Lich's arrest.
Granger says he has no reason to believe his client has done anything wrong and is "looking to learn more at this stage."
"Based on everything we knew, she's been diligently complying with all of her bail conditions as was noted by the judge at her recent bail review."
While it's not yet clear which bail conditions she is accused of breaching, there is speculation on social media that Lich might be in legal trouble over a Facebook photo that shows her beside a fellow convoy organizer who she was ordered to stay away from by a judge.
Tamara Lich has been arrested in Alberta for breach of court conditions (Canada-wide warrant). She will be returned to Ottawa to appear in Court.—@OttawaPolice
Lich faces charges of mischief, counselling mischief, obstructing police, counselling to obstruct police, counselling intimidation and intimidation by blocking and obstructing one or more highways for her role as one of the organizers of the protest that shut down much of downtown Ottawa earlier this year.
RCMP confirmed Lich was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for breaching her release order but did not have further information as the arrest falls within the jurisdiction of the Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS).
The service said it would not release information until Tuesday morning.
The anti-COVID-19 restriction blockades gridlocked Ottawa for three weeks last winter as protesters parked trucks that blocked neighbourhood access and main arteries around Parliament Hill.
After her arrest, Lich was released on bail in March on conditions which include staying off social media. She cannot organize any kind of protest and she is also not permitted to contact several of the other convoy leaders, including Tom Marazzo, an ex-military officer, who also had a failed bid as an Ontario MPP candidate.
Lich was subject to a bail review last month where prosecutors unsuccessfully sought to have her taken back into custody for allegedly violating her bail condition that she not support anything related to the Freedom Convoy.
Weeks after she was granted release in March, Lich was notified she'd been selected as a recipient of a freedom award, handed out by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), a legal organization and registered charity based in Calgary.
The awards ceremony took place on June 16 in Toronto.
The Ottawa judge ruled he would not revoke Lich's bail and instead varied her conditions to allow travel to Ontario with a restriction that she be banned from entering the capital's downtown core.
Lich's reasoning for wanting to travel back to Ottawa is protected by a court-ordered publication ban and cannot be reported.
But on June 17, the day after the freedom awards were presented, Stacey Kauder, who describes Lich as a friend, posted a photo to her Facebook page showing Lich with her husband and four other attendees at the JCCF gala.
To Lich's left is a man identified as Marazzo, a fellow convoy organizer, whom she was ordered to have no contact with unless her lawyer is present.
Friends of the two convoy organizers speculated on social media that Lich was allowed to have contact with Marazzo at the event because there were lawyers for the JCCF present who also represent Lich in her civil matters.
With files from Paula Duhatschek and David Fraser