4 Alberta border protesters charged with conspiring to murder RCMP officers
Young roommates among 9 others charged in blockade at Coutts, Alta., judge hears
Seven of the protesters arrested in connection with a blockade at the Coutts, Alta., border crossing have been granted bail but those accused of conspiring to murder RCMP officers remain behind bars.
The first 11 protesters to be arrested ahead of two others who were taken into custody later on Monday made their first court appearance Tuesday afternoon on charges that include conspiracy to murder, mischief and possession of a weapon.
The on-and-off blockade of the normally busy border crossing by people opposed to COVID-19 health restrictions has lasted more than two weeks.
The arrests followed an RCMP raid of trailers in the early morning hours on Monday when officers seized guns, body armour, a large quantity of ammunition and high-capacity firearm magazines.
Conspiracy to murder police officers
Most of the accused face charges of mischief to property over $5,000 and possession of a weapon.
Four also face an additional charge of conspiracy to murder with one man also charged with uttering threats.
In a news conference late Tuesday afternoon, RCMP confirmed the conspiracy charge related to allegations the four were planning to kill officers.
“I can tell you that it was toward RCMP members,” said RCMP Chief Supt. Trevor Daroux.
“We worked very closely with our Crown in ensuring we had the evidence going forward to lay the charge and put it before the courts.”
Roommate co-workers charged
Prosecutor Steven Johnston and defence lawyer Yoav Niv have made arrangements for most of the accused to be released on bail. Those facing conspiracy to murder charges must have a bail hearing before a superior court judge at a later date.
Despite court docs showing they are from Magrath and Raymond, Alta., it came to light that the four youngest people charged are co-workers in Calgary with three of the friends living in the city as roommates.
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Source: CBC News
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