‘Freedom Convoy trial’: Zexi Li envisioned to testify

OTTAWA –

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The female who went to courtroom to get an injunction from the “Liberty Convoy” past calendar year faced the protest organizers in criminal courtroom Monday in some of the most combative lines of questioning the trial has observed so considerably.

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Zexi Li took the stand from Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, who are accused mischief and counselling other folks to dedicate mischief for their role in foremost the protest, amid other expenses.

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The courtroom was unusually crowded Monday as Li took the stand. She held her composure in the witness box through the cross-evaluation.

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Early in her proof, defence lawyers challenged Li’s use of the term “occupation” to explain the protest, in which huge-rigs, vehicles and massive crowds of individuals blocked streets in downtown Ottawa for weeks.

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“I item by the steady use of the phrase ‘occupation,”‘ Chris Barber’s attorney Diane Magas reported.

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“It is really very irritating to my ears.”

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Magas reported the term was inflammatory, particularly simply because Li is “fairly invested.”

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Li is the direct plaintiff in a proposed $290-million course-motion lawsuit towards convoy organizers on behalf of downtown Ottawa inhabitants, workers and company owners.

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The fit alleges individuals downtown endured as 1000’s of protesters took in excess of metropolis streets with vehicles and large-rigs for three months.

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Lich and Barber are both equally named defendants in that lawsuit.

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Judge Heather Perkins-McVey informed Li she would choose her to use the phrases “protest” or “demonstration,” but mentioned “what she claims is up to her.”

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Like several other witnesses who testified in advance of her, Li explained the abnormal noise from automobiles honking their horns “for most of the day, if not all working day.”

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“It was complicated to live as a human becoming,” she testified.

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On the 2nd week of the protest, Li went to courtroom and got an injunction towards the horn-honking. She stated the honking turned fewer frequent immediately after that, but she would continue to hear intervals of what she known as “collective honking” in which it sounded like all the horns went off at at the time for a time period of time.

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The Crown intends to confirm that Lich and Barber had affect about the crowds.

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Under cross-examination, Li mentioned she could only remember the date of a single distinct example of the collective honking on Feb. 7, 2022. She could not say how extended the honking lasted.

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On the third 7 days, Li testified that she went for a walk to report evidence that the injunction was staying damaged and took a picture of a truck that was carrying jerry cans, which was partially parked on the sidewalk.

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She explained the driver of the truck “backed the truck into me,” as nearby demonstrators honked and shouted at her. She named law enforcement who made an incident report, but did not consider any further more motion. She couldn’t notify the court the specific day.

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In his cross-assessment, Lich’s lawyer Lawrence Greenspon explored prospective holes in Li’s believability by comparing her responses in courtroom to her testimony just before a federal inquiry into the government’s use of the Emergencies Act past calendar year.

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“There were being very a number of places in which she has been indicating points all together and has by no means truly been challenged,” Greenspon said exterior court Monday.

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“I imagine we can all appear at the form of cross-assessment that took area in entrance of the Community Order Crisis Commission, and it paled in comparison with what she was confronted with today.”

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For instance, at the federal inquiry Li testified that she recalled police coming to her making to inquire about inhabitants throwing eggs at protesters. On Monday she stated she only listened to about the police inquiries on the Facebook page for her making.

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Greenspon also asked if she remembered cursing at protesters throughout the confrontation involving the truck and the jerry cans.

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She verified that she did, but Greenspon confirmed the court a transcript of her testimony below oath past calendar year when she stated, “I may perhaps have mentioned that.”

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He also questioned Li’s prior court docket actions.

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In his choice to grant the injunction against the honking, Justice Hugh McLean ruled that the protest would be allowed to proceed as very long as it was lawful and peaceful.

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The injunction lasted just 10 times, and Li’s law firm Paul Champ used to lengthen it on Feb. 16.

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Greenspon pointed out that Champ did not contact out the protesters in court for defying the order to keep on being lawful and peaceful. He did not ask for the injunction to be prolonged to other elements of the protest.

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The defence lawyer also questioned why Li experienced a dialogue with her lawyer, Emilie Taman, in excess of the lunch split.

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Following hearing snickers from the spectators in court docket, Perkins-McVey explained it is a severe issue any time everyone elevated the spectre of piercing solicitor-consumer privilege, and threatened to throw out any one who she felt was not displaying the suitable respect.

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Li told the court docket she had been chatting about what to do for lunch when Greenspon interrupted and suggested she should not be talking to her attorney.

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She was found leaving the courtroom soon just after in tears.

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Champ explained in an interview previous week that Li would have preferred not to testify, but she would do her civic obligation if requested.

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He reported she has experienced harassment considering that she at first went to court docket versus the convoy and all over again soon after she testified in a federal inquiry into the government’s use of the Emergencies Act through the protest.

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She was presented with a law enforcement escort whilst she was at the courthouse.

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The courtroom also read testimony from Ottawa resident Paul Jorgenson, who explained the entrance to his parking garage was absolutely blocked by vehicles. Times into the protest he stated he obtained in his auto and hopped a curb to escape downtown.

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“We ultimately had to flee city because I was not able to continue working,” he explained to the courtroom, pointing to the “cacophonous” sounds and odour from idling cars.

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When he returned on Feb. 9, he reported he experienced problems obtaining food to consume.

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“We were being not able to get food and we had been not able to get meals from the grocery shop and we experienced exhausted almost all the food in our pantry,” he reported.

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This report by The Canadian Push was first released Oct. 16, 2023.