'Now is the time': Lawyer for man accused of plotting to murder police at border protest eager to book trial

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Christopher Lysak, 48, has been denied bail in connection with his charges of conspiracy to murder RCMP officers at the Coutts border blockades earlier this year. His lawyer wants to set a trial date as quickly as possible.  (Mary Haasdyk - image credit)
Christopher Lysak, 48, has been denied bail in connection with his charges of conspiracy to murder RCMP officers at the Coutts border blockades earlier this year. His lawyer wants to set a trial date as quickly as possible. (Mary Haasdyk - image credit)

The lawyer for a Lethbridge man accused of plotting to murder RCMP officers during the Coutts, Alta., border protests expressed frustration in court on Monday that trial dates have not yet been set.

Christopher Lysak, 48, is charged with conspiracy to murder, possession of a weapon, mischief and uttering threats against an RCMP officer.

For his last three court appearances, Lysak's laywer, Jim Lutz, has tried to move the case along by setting a trial date, but the Crown has not yet been in a position to do that.

"We've been trying to set a trial date since his detention. Now is the time to get something done," said Lutz after the court appearance.

On Monday, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Dallas Miller told prosecutor Steven Johnston to be ready to book a trial at the next court appearance, now set for June 13.

Johnston told the court the Crown would be proceeding by direct indictment, meaning there will be no preliminary inquiry.

Carbert/Facebook, Coutts Convoy Restart/Facebook, Morin/Facebook, Instagram
Carbert/Facebook, Coutts Convoy Restart/Facebook, Morin/Facebook, Instagram

Lysak is charged along with Chris Carbert, 44, Anthony Olienick, 39, and Jerry Morin, 40

The charges were laid Feb. 14 following raids on trailers near the protest area. Those searches resulted in the seizure of a cache of weapons and body armour.

Defence lawyers have indicated they are still waiting on search warrant documents that detail why police believed the raids were justified.

Submitted by Alberta RCMP
Submitted by Alberta RCMP

In March, Lysak was denied bail.

Carbert's bail hearing is set to take place next week, with Morin's on June 24.

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

Ten others face less serious charges connected to the border protests.

One of the protesters charged is accused of accelerating 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.

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