4 men accused of conspiring to murder RCMP officers to be tried together: prosecutors

The four men accused of conspiring to murder RCMP officers at the Coutts border protests will be tried together, according to prosecutors who spoke at the court appearances Monday. 

Chris Lysak, Chris Carbert, Anthony Olienick and Jerry Morin each face charges of conspiracy to murder, possession of a weapon and mischief. 

On Monday, the four, as well as 10 others facing less serious charges, made brief appearances in Lethbridge court as defence lawyers and prosecutors move the cases forward.

Lysak ‘waiting and waiting’

Prosecutors Aaron Rankin and Matt Dalidowicz indicated the Crown’s intention is to run one trial for the four facing the conspiracy charges.

Dalidowicz said the Carbert, Olienick and Morin cases were “moving quickly,” and the Crown expected to join the cases “in short order.” 

Because of that plan, Lysak was not allowed to book a trial despite his lawyer offering dates in January 2023.

Lysak remains in custody after he was denied bail in March.

“He’s waiting and waiting,” said lawyer Alias Saunders on behalf of Lysak’s counsel, Jim Lutz.

“Mr. Lysak is detained and Mr. Lutz would like to set dates.”

Defence lawyers for the 14 men and women facing charges related to the blockades indicated they are waiting for the prosecution to hand over the documents used to justify search warrants executed as part of the investigation.

Most of the accused will be back in court on May 16.

Carbert and Morin have set bail hearings that will take place in May and June with Olienick planning to set a date for his release application in the coming weeks. 

Defence lawyers James Mcleod and Balfour Der told the judge on Monday that their client wants a preliminary hearing.

Alberta RCMP submitted this photo of what they say is a cache of firearms and ammunition found in three trailers near an ongoing blockade of the Canada-U.S. border. (Submitted by Alberta RCMP)

In February, RCMP raided trailers near the Coutts border protest area. Those raids resulted in the seizure of a cache of weapons and body armour.

One of the arrests was tied to an incident where, according to Mounties, a protester accelerated at officers in a semi-truck as RCMP were conducting a check stop north of Milk River. 

The driver swerved at the last moment, police said. 

White supremacist group ties 

CBC News has previously reported that Carbert and Lysak both have ties to a group with white supremacist beliefs.

Two Diagolon patches were found on body armour seized by police during the execution of the Coutts search warrants.

Diagolon has been described by University of New Brunswick professor David Hofmann as an American-style militia movement.

Members of Diagolon want to establish a white nationalist state through violence, according to Hofmann. Lysak appears in a photo with Jeremy MacKenzie, the founder of Diagolon.

Lysak also appears in a photo wearing a tank top with what appears to be the Diagolon symbol on the front.

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