Convoy protest organizer Tamara Lich released from jail
Lich must leave Ottawa in the next 24 hours and abide by several conditions in Alberta
A judge has ruled one of the main organizers of the so-called Freedom Convoy can be released from jail, on the condition she leave Ottawa, reversing a decision made last month.
Tamara Lich, 49, was behind a now-halted GoFundMe campaign that raised more than $10 million to support the protest in Ottawa, which became a weeks-long occupation.
She was arrested Feb. 17 and charged with counselling to commit mischief shortly before the major push by police to clear out the remaining protesters who occupied downtown Ottawa streets.
Lich remained in custody and was denied bail on Feb. 22, but then appealed, leading to a March 2 bail review hearing.
The original judge said she was not convinced Lich would go home and stop her alleged counselling.
WATCH | Convoy organizer Tamara Lich released from jail
On Monday, Superior Court Justice John Johnston said Lich ought to be released, but said she "does require some supervision."
A proposed surety, tasked with supervising Lich while on release, put up a $20,000 cash bond to help ensure Lich will uphold her bail conditions. Lich is putting up an additional $5,000 cash bond.
Those conditions include leaving Ottawa within 24 hours, refraining from using social media, and having no contact with certain co-organizers.
In his decision, Johnston said Lich had a job where she was a "valued employee" and she had lived a "crime free" life, while the risk in Ottawa — where streets have mostly returned to normal — has now been "minimized."
He noted Lich's trial likely won't be held for several months and her time on remand would exceed that of her sentence should she be convicted, saying "it is not likely Lich would face a lengthy imprisonment."
With files from Andrew Foote and Kristy Nease