Tamara Lich, one of the principal organizers of the “Freedom Convoy” protest in Ottawa Canada, has been granted bail after spending two and a half weeks in jail. She was released Monday on a $25,000 bond “with conditions not to protest COVID mandates or use any form of social media, and she must return to her home in Alberta,” the National Post reported.
Lich was arrested in Ottawa on the evening of Feb. 17, and has remained behind bars since. During a Feb. 22 hearing, her request for bail was denied by Justice Julie Bourgeois, a former Liberal Party candidate. Bourgeois said her imprisonment was “necessary for the protection and safety of the public.”
Lich was charged with counselling mischief, the day before the police crackdown in downtown Ottawa.
This news comes after protesters returned to Ottawa over the weekend to demand the release of the political prisoners.
— Tommy boomboom (@tommyBoomboom) March 5, 2022
Last week, Lich’s lawyer said Bourgeois was biased against her, and asked the court to review the decision.
In court Wednesday, Lich’s lawyer filed an affidavit on her behalf that said had she known Bourgeois was a Liberal candidate in the 2011 federal election, she would have asked the justice to recuse herself from the case.
“Had I had that information beforehand, I would have felt uncomfortable with the situation,” Lich told the court Wednesday.
She spent the majority of the hearing sitting up straight in the accused dock with her hands folded in her lap, her blond hair in a high bun and a mask over her face.
While protests in downtown Ottawa were mainly aimed at COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates, demonstrators also took aim at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal party with profane flags and slogans.
Lich’s lawyer, Diane Magas, also argued that Bourgeois repeatedly referred to the impact of the protest on “our community,” in her decision to keep Lich in jail.
“If a justice feels impacted in our community, in her community, in my submission she should not sit. There should be an out of town judge,” Magas told the court.
Supreme Court Justice John Johnston reversed the original decision and granted Lich bail.
“She’s 49, no record, she’s a mother, has led a pro social life, she has a job, boss describes herself as productive employee, she has Métis heritage which would trigger Gladue factors at a sentencing hearing; sentence will involve consideration of many factors,” Johnston said. “I find that this accused ought to be released.”
David Anber, who has been representing some of the Freedom Convoy protesters, shared some of the details of Lich’s bail on Twitter.
“I find that this accused ought to be released”. pic.twitter.com/8NvsmcrtfZ
— David Anber, Criminal Lawyer 🇨🇦 (@DavidAnber) March 7, 2022
Upon release, Lich will be required to leave Ottawa within 24 hours, and be out of Ontario within 72 hours. Additionally, she been ordered to not have contact with other accused protesters, to stay off of social media, and to not protest against the Canadian government’s COVID policies.
Below is raw video of Lich being released from jail: