OTTAWA — Exactly five months after he was arrested for his role in the so-called “Freedom Convoy,” Pat King was granted bail on Monday as he faces a slew of criminal charges as a key figure in last winter’s controversial protests.
King’s mouth dropped in the prisoner’s box of an Ottawa courtroom when he realized he would be released after spending 150 nights in custody since his arrest on Feb. 18. Later, as the conditions of his release were being read in court, King bowed his head and appeared to weep silently into a white tissue.
Reasons for the decision from Superior Court Judge Anne London-Weinstein, as well as the evidence heard during his bail hearing last week, cannot be reported because of a court-ordered publication ban.
King agreed to submit a $25,000 deposit for his bail, on top of bonds committed by his sureties — whose names are also under the publication ban — worth more than $15,000.
While on bail, King will be subject to a curfew, barred from using social media, and must return to reside in Alberta as soon as possible. He also cannot contact other “freedom” protest organizers, including, among others, Tamara Lich, Chris Barber, B.J. Dichter, Tyson “Freedom George” Billings, and Tom Marazzo.
King is also prohibited from giving media interviews, organizing or promoting any anti-government protests or demonstrations related to the “freedom” cause, and must deactivate his social media accounts and “Real Pat King” website within 48 hours.
A small group of King’s supporters, including his girlfriend, sat near the front of the courtroom as the decision was read. Some wore T-shirts with “Free Pat King” written on them, and greeted news of his release with, “We love you. Pat!”
King, 44, was arrested Feb. 18 and charged with mischief, obstructing a peace officer, counselling others to commit mischief, counselling to commit intimidation, counselling to obstruct police and blocking or obstructing one or more highways.
He was denied bail a week later, when a justice of the peace determined he posed a “substantial likelihood” of reoffending if he was released, and that his imprisonment while facing criminal charges was necessary to maintain public faith in the justice system.
In April, during an earlier attempt to get out on bail, the hearing was cancelled after King was slapped with three additional charges of perjury.
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