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Chris Barber upon his arrival at the Ottawa courthouse on September 19, 2023. (File photo)
Judge Heather Perkins-McVey, who is overseeing the trial of two of the organizers of the truckers' convoy, ruled: a group of eight residents and owners x27;companies may testify in the trial of Tamara Lich and Chris Barber.
Crown lawyers have argued that this testimony is necessary to illustrate the scale, nature and consequences of the protests in order to refute any notion that the demonstrations were peaceful.
The eight people were identified using investigative data provided by Ottawa police, which asked how they had been affected by the protests, which whether verbally or physically.
The defense, for its part, insisted that Tamara Lich and Chris Barber were willing to admit that illegal activities took place during the demonstration that paralyzed downtown Ottawa for about three weeks in the winter 2022.
The defense was also prepared to admit that residents and businesses had been inconvenienced and that public transportation had been disrupted as a result of the actions demonstrators.
The judge made this decision on Wednesday, emphasizing that the case law is clear, indicating that the Crown must be able to present its case as it sees fit and that ;she cannot be forced to accept the confession.
Tamara Lich and Chris Barber face charges of mischief, intimidation, obstructing the work of police officers and advising others to commit misdeeds.
Chris Barber's lawyers also argued that the judge could use her case management power to force the Crown to accept the confession and exclude the witnesses. Judge Perkins-McVey, however, rejected this argument and clarified that her management power should not interfere with the parties' ability to present relevant and probative evidence.
The trial, now in its 14th day, was originally scheduled to last 16. However, the Crown's arguments have progressed slowly, so that additional dates have been added.
Since the trial began, Crown lawyers have maintained that the protest was anything but peaceful. They presented evidence collected during the protests to demonstrate that Tamara Lich and Chris Barber crossed the line in committing the crimes they are accused of.
The defense maintains that their clients always advocated peace and tried to collaborate with the City of Ottawa and the police during their stay in the national capital.
With information from Rémi Authier and David Fraser , from CBC< em>News