Bail review for ‘Freedom Convoy’ organizer Pat King abruptly adjourned

By The Canadian Press and News staff

Ottawa convoy organizer Pat King’s bail review hearing came to an abrupt and unexpected stop after only a few hours Wednesday.

The Ontario Superior Court was hearing evidence about whether or not to release King on bail after his lawyer requested a review of the court’s initial decision to keep him in jail until his trial.

The details of these latest proceedings are subject to a publication ban and cannot be shared outside of court.

Justice Graeme Mew also banned any publication about the reason for the sudden adjournment, at least until court resumes on Thursday.

On Wednesday, King appeared freshly shaved, in jeans, a grey flannel shirt and tan vest with his hair in a neat braid.

King was a crucial figure in the three-week convoy protest against COVID-19 restrictions and the federal government that swarmed Ottawa’s downtown streets at the end of January, blocking roads and blaring loud horns at all hours.

King was denied bail on Feb. 25.

King was arrested back on Feb. 18 on four charges: mischief, counselling to commit mischief, counselling to commit the offence of disobeying a court order, and counselling to obstruct police.

In a bail decision later that month, Justice of the Peace Andrew Seymour said he’s not satisfied that King if released, wouldn’t commit offences similar to those he’s accused of.

Seymour also says he isn’t confident in King’s proposed surety, an Alberta woman who has only known King for four weeks. That person also took part in the protests.

King’s supporters appear to be chipping in to help fund any bond that may be required for his potential release.

People claiming to be King’s friends and family have continued to operate his Facebook page, The Real Pat King, while he has been in custody.

The operators of the fund have solicited donations from supporters to fund his legal defence.

“Pat King requires our support from his friends and family to help cover his legal expenses so he can seek a release on bail then begin to prepare for his trial. The amount to cover the bail review and trial is estimated to exceed over $100,000,” a post from March 18 stated.

The page claims to have raised $62,400, though it cannot be verified as the donations were made by e-transfer directly to a private email address.

Randy Hillier challenging his bail conditions

Ontario MPP Randy Hillier announced Wednesday he also intends to take his case to Superior Court to challenge the conditions of his bail related to the protest.

Hillier, an Independent member of the provincial legislature, was released from jail but still faces nine charges, including obstructing or resisting a public officer, assaulting a peace or public officer and counselling an indictable office.

One of the conditions of his release is that he abstain from opposing COVID-19 mandates on social media or supporting anti-mandate causes. He’s also banned from downtown Ottawa except to meet his counsel.

His lawyer, David Anber, argued the conditions are at odds with his duties as an MPP.

Anber announced on Twitter that the Superior Court of Ontario will hear Hillier’s challenge on April 28.

Fellow protest leader Tamara Lich was arrested a day before King and charged with mischief and counselling to commit mischief. She was initially denied bail, but that decision was reversed following a review.

Lich is appealing her bail conditions as she awaits trial. In late March, her lawyer filed an appeal of the bail conditions, including restrictions on the use of social media, in an Ontario court. A date for that review has not yet been set.

With files from Cormac Mac Sweeney, Hana Mae Nassar and Michael Ranger of CityNews

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