NEWS

Rob Ford wiretap documents involving crack tape released

12/04/2013 05:39 EST | Updated 02/03/2014 05:59 EST
More documents from the Toronto police surveillance operation involving Toronto Mayor Rob Ford have been released.

The latest documents, including wiretaps from phone conversations, were ordered released by Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer.  

Lawyers for media organizations including the CBC fought for the release of information to obtain, or ITO, documents since Alexander (Sandro) Lisi was arrested and charged with extortion in early October.

The latest release describes phone conversations among Lisi, Elena Basso, who lives at 15 Windsor Road where Ford was famously photographed with four young men, and various gang members in Rexdale. Ford himself does not speak on the wiretaps.

However, the mayor’s name appears frequently, mostly in relation to obtaining the mayor's missing phone. The mayor allegedly offered $5,000 and a car in exchange for the video showing him smoking crack, according to the documents.

On the tapes are Liban Siyad, the man who may have tried to blackmail the mayor over the alleged crack video, Mohammed Siad, who attempted to broker a deal with Gawker and the Toronto Star for the tapes, and Abdullahi Harun, a drug dealer.

The following events appear on the wiretaps from the early morning of April 20, 2013:

- In a conversation between Elena Basso and Liban Siyad, she mentions Ford was at 15 Windsor Rd., suggesting Siyad come over to meet with the mayor.

- Siyad says he was to deliver drugs to the mayor.

- Abdullahi Harun tells Siyad on the phone that Ford is smoking "dugga" or marijuana, and has "so much pictures" of Ford doing "hezza" or heroin. Siyad asks Harun to photograph the mayor doing drugs because the photos would be worth money.

- Siyad says "that the mayor of the City Rob Ford was smoking his rocks today," and "advised he was at [15 Windsor] house and that he will put a picture up on Instagram."

- Lisi calls Siyad to say Ford is "freaking out" that he is missing his phone. Siyad says he can get it back. Lisi threatens to "put heat" on Dixon Road.

- Siyad didn't heed the threat, since he says he has photos of the mayor "on the pipe".

Later in the wiretaps, it alleges that Siad, who was trying to sell the video, was kidnapped and threatened over the video.

Lisi was the focus of the initial drug-trafficking investigation, but the mayor appears in other surveillance reports.

The time period for the latest release is just after the reports of Ford appearing to smoke crack cocaine on video emerged.

At the end of October, police revealed they had obtained a copy of a video file that was consistent with what the media had reported.

Within days, Ford admitted to having smoked crack cocaine while serving as mayor of Toronto, despite having denied for months that he had done so.

He also admitted to drinking to excess and to being “extremely inebriated” in a separate video that emerged after the Toronto Star paid to obtain it, which showed Ford ranting and swearing.

There was also an uproar over a crude sexual comment the mayor made when speaking to reporters about allegations that appeared in a police document.

Council moved to strip the mayor of selected powers in the wake of the many admissions the mayor made about his behaviour.

A large majority of councillors urged the mayor to take a leave of absence, but he defied their calls to do so.

The drug-related scandal involving the mayor has made headlines around the world and had dominated Ford’s daily business at city hall for months.

Ford, 44, has served as the mayor of Toronto since 2010. He still has another year to serve under his current mandate.

Long before stories of the drug video emerged this past spring, Ford often found himself in the midst of controversies as mayor.

A conflict-of-interest challenge nearly forced him from office, though he won an appeal that overturned a removal order and Ford was able to hang on to his job.

Ford also faced a defamation lawsuit that was dismissed.

The mayor has faced criticism over his commitment to coaching football, his personal driving habits and his workload.

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