Criminal trial of 'Freedom Convoy' organizer Pat King begins with not guilty plea

OTTAWA — As his criminal trial got underway, "Freedom Convoy" organizer Pat King pleaded not guilty to a list of nine charges related to the major protest that paralyzed downtown Ottawa.

King was involved in a convoy that saw hundreds of big−rig trucks and other vehicles roll into Ottawa two years ago to protest COVID−19 public health measures.

He offered his plea in court wearing a black suit, with about a dozen supporters in the benches behind him.

The Crown says King presented himself as an outspoken leader throughout the demonstration and documented his experience with frequent livestreams on social media, which are expected to be entered as evidence.

He is charged with mischief, counselling others to commit mischief, disobeying a court order, obstructing police, and other offences related to his role in the demonstration, which ultimately prompted a large police operation.

The sound of airhorns blared through the courtroom as the Crown began its case with an 11−minute compilation video of scenes from the national capital during the protest, showing streets blocked by trucks and crowds shouting "Freedom" and "We’re not leaving."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 13, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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