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Undercover officer testifies at Alberta trial, says accused at Coutts spoke of killing police

A truck convoy of anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate demonstrators block the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alta., Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. A female undercover officer is set to continue her testimony Wednesday at a trial for two men charged with conspiracy to commit murder during the blockade. Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press

An undercover police officer told court Anthony Olienick characterized Mounties as the “arms” of Canada’s “devil” prime minister and said if police tried to break up the border blockade at Coutts, Alta., he would kill them.

“If (police) come into Coutts, he said that he will slit their throats,” the officer testified Wednesday.

“(He said) this was his destiny and the war he was supposed to fight in.

“He once again said that he knows he’s going to die for this fight.

“Then he said he wants to kill them all.”

Olienick and Chris Carbert are on trial in Lethbridge, Alta., charged with conspiring to murder police officers at the blockade.

The blockade ran for two weeks in early 2022, tying up traffic at the busy Canada-United States border crossing for two weeks to protest COVID-19 restrictions and pandemic vaccine mandates.

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The two men were arrested after Mounties found a cache of guns, body armour and ammunition in trailers in the area.

The undercover officer can be identified only as HQ1298 to protect her safety. Members of the public and media were cleared from the courtroom during her testimony but were allowed to listen in from a separate room.

The officer testified about how she infiltrated the Coutts protest, posing as a volunteer, and talked with Olienick.

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Olienick, she said, expected the “devil’s arms” would make sure he didn’t survive the blockade.

He said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was the devil and the RCMP were his limbs, the officer told the trial.

She became emotional during her testimony, prompting Crown prosecutor Steven Johnston to intervene.

“You’re upset? Why?” he asked.

“Because you don’t want anyone to get hurt,” the officer replied.

“How did you steel yourself when you heard (the threats)?” Johnston asked.

“At that point, you’re just doing a job. So you have to stay composed,” the officer said.

“Afterwards, it’s a little bit harder. In hindsight, it was upsetting.”

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She said the conversation with Olienick moved to what would happen if police descended on Coutts.

“He said he’s got some things. He can teach us how to shoot, and then he said sort of to stick with him because, ‘I’m just going to run and gun.'”

The officer last saw Olienick on Feb. 13, 2022. He was angry and upset, saying RCMP had sabotaged some heavy equipment near the highway, said the officer.

After informing her superior about the movements of Olienick and Carbert, she said she was told to leave the area.

Hours later, police carried out an early morning raid.

During cross-examination, Olienick’s lawyer Marilyn Burns questioned the lack of actual quotes in the officer’s notes.

The officer acknowledged that as true, but said, “It doesn’t mean the context of my notes are not contextual or accurate.”

Burns also suggested that the officer may have misinterpreted what Olienick said about slitting throats.

Perhaps, said Burns, Olienick was using throat-slitting as a figure of speech and that police would in effect be figuratively slitting their own throats if they took action against the blockade.

“We’re dealing with an interpretation of language,” said Burns.

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Prosecutor Johnston objected.

“That’s not what it says in the (officer’s) notes,” he said.

“I didn’t say it did,” replied Burns.

“I’m suggesting there is another interpretation than simply the people at Coutts slitting the police throats.”

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.

Click to play video: 'Coutts blockade conspiracy trial begins'
Coutts blockade conspiracy trial begins

 

 

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