'Hold the line' rallying cry doesn't imply illegal behaviour: Tamara Lich's lawyer

'Hold the line' not illegal

UPDATE: 9 a.m.

Defence lawyers representing Tamara Lich say her frequent use of the phrase "hold the line" doesn't imply that the "Freedom Convoy" organizer was encouraging illegal activity.

Lich's lawyer Eric Granger is making that point as he argues that Lich and fellow organizer Chris Barber should not be considered co-conspirators in their criminal trial, meaning that evidence against only one of them should not be used against both.

The two were among the most high-profile organizers of the early 2022 demonstrations that gridlocked streets in downtown Ottawa in protest against COVID-19 public-health restrictions.

The rallying cry "hold the line" has become a focal point of their trial, as the Crown attempts to prove that Lich and Barber exerted influence over the massive crowds and urged them to stay as police tried to clear the streets.

Granger says the phrase was used on the "Freedom Convoy 2022" Facebook page before the protesters even arrived in Ottawa, and before any crimes were alleged to have occurred.

He says any notion that using the phrase "hold the line" is nefarious is entirely speculative.

ORIGINAL: 7:20 a.m.

Defence lawyers representing two high-profile "Freedom Convoy" organizers are expected to present more new evidence today as they lay out their case.

Eric Granger, a lawyer for Tamara Lich, shared a chronological summary of her public statements and communication with co-accused Chris Barber on Monday in court.

Granger says there is no direct evidence linking his client to any unlawful activities that took place during the protest that gridlocked downtown Ottawa for three weeks early last year.

The two are co-accused of mischief and intimidation, among other charges.

The Crown is arguing that they exerted influence over protesters who acted unlawfully during the demonstrations.

The defence filed a motion last week arguing that evidence in the case that applies only to Lich or Barber should not be used against the other, and the judge has not yet ruled on the matter.

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