Police have Ford crack video
Oct 31, 2013 / 7:29 am
Update - 9:30 a.m.
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair says they have recovered a copy of a video file that depicts images of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford that are "consistent with those previously reported in the press."
Allegations of a video appearing to show Ford smoking crack cocaine surfaced in May when reporters from the Toronto Star and the U.S. website Gawker reported they were shown the video.
The mayor has repeatedly said he does not use crack cocaine and the video does not exist.
Blair made the comments just hours after the release of a police document that showed the alleged video was the subject of a police probe that led to the arrest of Alexander Lisi, Ford's friend and occasional driver.
Blair says Lisi -- who was originally charged with four drug offences -- now faces an additional charge of extortion.
Asked whether Ford could face charges, Blair said there's nothing in the video that would allow police to "form reasonable grounds" to support the laying of a criminal charge.
A police document says an alleged video that appears to show Toronto Mayor Rob Ford using crack cocaine was the focus of an investigation that led to dozens of arrests.
The 300-page document released this morning details evidence police collected in order to get a search warrant for Ford's friend Alexander Lisi.
An overview of the investigation contained in the document says that an experienced detective was assigned to investigate allegations that a video showed Ford smoking crack cocaine.
The allegations surfaced in May when reporters from the Toronto Star and the U.S. website Gawker reported they were shown the video.
Ford refused to comment on the release of the document this morning, shouting at reporters gathered outside his house to "get off" his property.
He has repeatedly said he does not use crack cocaine and that the alleged video does not exist.
An Ontario Superior Court judge ordered the document relating to the drug arrest of Alexander Lisi partially unsealed.
The decision follows an application by media lawyers who argued the nearly 500-page document contains information that is in the public interest.
The document details evidence police have collected in order to get a search warrant.
Ford refused to comment on the release of the document Thursday morning, shouting at reporters gathered outside his house to "get off" his property.
The Toronto Star reported earlier this year that Lisi was looking for an alleged video that appears to show Ford using crack cocaine, the existence of which Ford has denied.
The portions of the document that will remain under sealing order, at least until lawyers make further arguments next month, refer to innocent third parties not related to the essential narrative of the Lisi investigation. The Crown says those sections should not be made public.
But the media lawyers argue there should not be a distinction between what is essential and what isn't, since it is all read by the judge in determining whether to issue a search warrant.
Court heard there are about 70 people named in the information expected to be made public, including one person who is named in both the "essential" and "non-essential" information.
Ford would not comment on the impending release of information when asked by reporters at city hall Wednesday.
Lisi -- who Ford has described as a friend and a "good guy" -- was arrested earlier this month and charged with four drug offences, including trafficking marijuana.
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