ontario news watch

Coutts murder-conspiracy trial to see more video of accused talking with police

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — The trial of two men charged with conspiracy to commit murder at the border blockade at Coutts, Alta., is expected to hear more from one of the accused in a video statement he gave to police.

About three hours of the video with Anthony Olienick was played earlier this week for the jury.

Olienick tells police in the video that he’s surprised by the charge and never threatened anyone to their face.

He describes the blockade as a peaceful protest and says the federal government is trying to make it appear evil.

Olienick and Chris Carbert were arrested in 2022 after Mounties found a cache of guns, body armour and ammunition in trailers parked in Coutts near the blockade.

The blockade protesting COVID-19 measures and vaccines paralyzed traffic for two weeks at the busy Canada-U.S. border crossing.

Olienick says in the video that a seized shotgun and a .22-calibre rifle are his, but he has nothing to do with two assault-style rifles found.

Undercover officers previously testified that Olienick considered the blockade a war and expressed a hatred of police and a desire to kill officers.

Olienick and Carbert are also charged with mischief and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. Olienick faces a further charge of being in possession of a pipe bomb.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2024.

The Canadian Press