Jailed Canadian minister James Coates to be released, all but one charge dropped

by Peter Heck · Mar 17th, 2021 7:35 pm

Last Updated Mar 18th, 2021 at 7:02 pm

The legal firm representing the Canadian minister who has been imprisoned since February 16 after refusing to close his church to in-person services announced Wednesday that the pastor is being released.

Justice Centre said that Crown Prosecutors were dropping all but one charge against Pastor James Coates and that he will be released without any conditions pending his trial in early May.

Coates pastors Grace Life Church near Edmonton, a congregation of nearly 400 people. Justice Centre pointed out in their press release that the church had not lost a single member to COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, but did lose a member who was unable to access necessary cancer treatments due to government lockdown orders.

The law firm says they will defend Coates against the one remaining charge against him, violating an Order of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. Justice Centre says they will argue against the lawfulness of the order.

Coates will likely be released to his family on Friday.


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