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Thursday, 31 October 2013

REPORT: Toronto mayor caught on tape smoking crack... -

REPORT: Toronto mayor caught on tape smoking crack... - 

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair made the stunning announcement Thursday that police have recovered digital video files containing images he says are consistent with "images previously reported in the press." Mayor Rob Ford appears in at least one of those video files, Blair said.
Blair explained that several computer hard drives were seized on June 13, in the course of Project Traveller raids. Investigators began combing through those drives and found evidence of deleted files.
Blair said that on Tuesday, forensics teams were able to recover a deleted file that contained the video.
He said the footage is "consistent with what has been described in the media," but would not detail what activities were depicted in the video.
In May, allegations of a video appearing to show Ford smoking crack cocaine surfaced after reporters from the Toronto Star and the U.S. website Gawker.com reported they were offered to buy copies.
Blair said he had seen the video recovered from the hard drive that appears to show Ford. When asked whether he was shocked by what he saw, Blair responded: "I'm disappointed."
Blair also said that as a result of their investigation, they "have this morning taken into custody a Mr. Sandro Lisi and laid a charge of extortion with respect to the evidence that's been collected." A further news release from police say it is alleged the accused "made extortive efforts to retrieve a recording."
Lisi, a friend of the mayor who was arrested on marijuana trafficking charges earlier this month, is due to appear in court "at a date not yet determined" to face these new charges.
Blair added that evidence is still being reviewed and that further charges could be laid.
Ford has not offered comment to the newest charges, nor has the mayor's brother and longtime supporter Doug Ford.
On Thursday morning, Mayor Ford yelled at a group of reporters as he left his Etobicoke home, telling them to get off his driveway. He pushed away at least one photographer before getting into his Cadillac Escalade and driving away without answering reporters' questions.
Lisi's arrest comes the same day that the Crown released more than 300 pages of a document used in the investigation that led to his earlier arrest on Oct. 1.
That document reveals it was the Gawker.com and Toronto Star reports that sparked the investigation, code-named Project Brazen 2. It says police began an investigation within days and began surveillance on Lisi.
Police documented Lisi exchanging several phone calls with Ford, using four different numbers to reach him. For example, starting from Aug. 7, when police began tracking the phone numbers of calls to and from Lisi's cellphone, until Sept. 19, Ford and Lisi exchanged 349 phone calls.
They also documented him meeting with Ford several times, often in gas stations and abandoned parking lots, sometimes leaving behind packages in white plastic bags or manila envelopes.
In one incident on July 11, police followed Lisi to a west end gas station where Ford had just arrived. While Ford used the station's restroom, Lisi allegedly placed an envelope inside the mayor's Escalade. The two did not speak. The mayor then got back into his vehicle and drove away.
The police surveillance teams also report that Lisi engaged several times in "counter surveillance measures" as he drove, sometimes speeding to evade pursuit.
After police lost track of Lisi several times, they then began to track his movements using Toronto Police Service aircraft to follow him.
None of the allegations in the document have been tested or proven in court.


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