EXCLUSIVE: Freedom truckers trial judge slams prosecution for introducing 'chat' messages without disclosing them to defense

Judge Heather Perkins-McVey said she was “not impressed” with how the prosecution wanted to introduce thousands of “chat” messages without disclosing these to the defense.

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The judge in the Freedom Convoy trial chided the Crown prosecutors Friday for a massive, unanticipated document dump.

Judge Heather Perkins-McVey said she was “not impressed” with how the prosecution wanted to introduce thousands of “chat” messages without disclosing these to the defense.

Perkins-McVey called for an immediate recess after learning of the new evidence.

Lawrence Greenspon, lawyer for Tamara Lich, said the move by the defense was “unacceptable” and said it would take days to examine and assess the new documents. He said he would also need to find other evidence on social media to counter the prosecution’s claims.

After recessing for an early lunch break, Greenspon met with reporters outside of the courtroom.

He described the latest development as a “late, mid-trial disclosure of chats that the Crown actually wants to use.”

When asked if he was satisfied with how the judge was proceeding, Greenspon told The Post Millennial, ”I would say yes because what she’s done is basically say, ‘Yes, I hear you, I hear your concern. I have the same concerns and let’s deal with the same evidence that is not in dispute at this point. So that’s what we’re going to do.’”

It is not the first time in the trial that the judge has admonished the prosecution for its legal tactics.

Greenspon accused the Crown of “cherry-picking” their evidence and expanding the scope of their search.

“This is not supposed to be a trial about everything that is out there [on the internet],” he said.

Although Perkins-McVey said she was prepared to recess the trial for the weekend and not return from lunch, Greenspon insisted there were still ways to effectively “use the court’s time.” He suggested they continue to examine news conference videos taken during the Freedom Convoy protest of late January to mid-February 2022.

During Thursday’s hearings, some of the prosecution’s videos assisted the defense, including one segment where Chris Barber told truckers not to honk their horns throughout the night and to respect the quiet hours.

Those opposed to the Freedom Convoy have alleged that truckers stayed up all night and used their horns to disturb the peace.

Lich and Barber are charged with mischief, counseling others to commit mischief, intimidation and obstructing police as leaders of the Freedom Convoy that polarized residents of Ottawa in February 2022 and arguably began to rollback Covid-19 mandates.

 

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