A key figure of the Freedom Convoy protest has been granted bail after spending five months in jail, an Ottawa court decided Monday.
Pat King emerged from the Elgin Street courthouse to hugs and cheers from supporters, who waved Canadian flags and chanted "freedom." King couldn't speak to reporters as a condition of his release.
The decision on King's bail status came after a two-day bail review hearing last week. There's a publication ban on the evidence and reasons for the decision.
King was back in an Ottawa courtroom after waiting months to hear if he would be released on bail, since his bail review in April came to an abrupt halt due to new charges against him and an apparent hacking of his lawyer's computer during the review.
King's then-defence lawyer had requested a review of the decision to keep him in custody until his trial begins.
Since then, King has tapped a new lawyer to fight for his release and defend him against a mounting number of charges.
King, an Alberta resident, was a leading figure in the weeks-long convoy protest against COVID-19 restrictions, and was arrested on Feb. 18 on four charges: mischief, counselling to commit mischief, counselling to commit the offence of disobeying a court order and counselling to obstruct police. He faces additional charges of obstructing justice and perjury.
On Monday, Justice Anne London-Weinstein read out the conditions of King's release. They are:
To vacate Ottawa as soon as possible, and no later than 24 hours.
To reside with a surety under supervision until he can take a flight to Edmonton.
Ottawa Police Service can check the surety's residence if required.
To reside with a surety in Alberta.
To be in employment under a surety.
To have no contact or communication with other Freedom Convoy leaders and stakeholders: Chris Barber, Tamara Lich, Daniel Bulford, Benjamin Dichter, James Bauder, Tyson Billings, Owen Swiderski, Tom Marrazzo, and Brian Carr. (Unless it's through counsel, or for his preparations for defence for his criminal charges.)
No protesting or public assembly, specifically related to COVID-19 pandemic, the Freedom Convoy and anti-government demonstration.
No social media in any form, no posting messages or having others post on his behalf. He must deactivate his Real Pat King website, Facebook page and other social media accounts within 48 hours, through a surety or counsel.
No giving interviews, including on social media.
To abide by a curfew of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., unless he's with sureties. King must provide proof to police he is with a surety, if he's unavailable for a door-knock check.
King must post a $25,000 cash bond, to guarantee his next court appearance.
No possession of weapons or ammunition.
In June, a pastor who tried visiting regularly with King in jail at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre said King was "pretty beat down."