The trial of Freedom Convoy protester Pat King has changed from a jury to a judge-alone trial and the start date has been delayed from November to February.
Appearing in virtual court Tuesday, King’s lawyer Natasha Calvinho had filed a motion asking for the trial to be adjourned to a later start date.
Calvinho told the court she received hours worth of video evidence and other materials from the Crown, but would not be able to review it all before Nov. 27, as was originally planned.
The Crown was prepared to proceed sooner and was available for earlier dates, but consented to King’s decision to have his case heard by a judge.
By hearing the trial by a judge, the court can choose non-consecutive sitting days. Jury trials are typically heard consecutively to minimize the disruption to jurors’ lives.
King’s trial is now scheduled to begin May 13 and sit for nine days, then break before a final week of trial starting July 15.
King appeared in virtual court with his hair slicked back, wearing a plaid blue shirt with a small “Harley Davidson” logo over the left breast.
He faces charges of mischief, counselling others to commit mischief, disobeying a court order and obstructing police for his role in the weeks-long “Freedom Convoy” protests in the city during the winter of 2022.
King — an early, loud and prominent supporter of the protests who was regularly updating his thousands of social media followers during his time in Ottawa — had previously tried to move his trial out of the city.
Calvinho had argued her client was too “notorious” and King “was and still is more highly publicized than most other people involved in the Freedom Convoy.”
Justice Charles Hackland denied the request saying proper safeguards were in place to protect against potential juror bias.
King continues to host live videos online, typically viewed by thousands, where he solicits donations for his defence.
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