Rob Ford may have tried to buy crack video: court documents
Tamara Cherry, CTV Toronto
Published Wednesday, December 4, 2013 4:48PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 4, 2013 7:45PM EST
Mayor Rob Ford may have tried to buy the alleged video of himself smoking crack cocaine two months before news of the video first broke, court documents released today allege.
The information was ordered released by Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer after a court battle between media lawyers and the provincial Crown attorney, as well as lawyers representing Ford friend Alexander Lisi and the accused arrested as part of Project Traveller.
The allegations were laid out in the now notorious Information to Obtain, or ITO, in Lisi's drug-trafficking investigation -- a document drafted by Toronto Police in order to get permission to carry out search warrants. Among the information ordered released by Nordheimer are wiretap summaries from Project Traveller, which began months before news of the Rob Ford video broke.
Wiretaps allege mayor offered "five thousand and a car" for a video
Wiretaps show that a cell phone belonging to a man named Siyadin Abdi, was used to call Ford's office on March 18, 2013. Interviewed by police at the Toronto East Detention Centre, Abdi wouldn't explain the phone call or even admit to calling the mayor. But nine days later, on March 27, Abdi is heard on a wiretap speaking to Mohamed Siad, one of the men police believe was shopping around the video.
The men "discussed plans to sell the tape," according to the ITO. In doing so, they referred to what police believe was an offer from the mayor.
Abdi allegedly said he was offered "five thousand and a car," adding, "What the f*** is that?," to which Siad allegedly said he would "meet with him and ask for '150,'" believed to be $150,000. Abdi allegedly said the video could be sold to the Toronto Star and a website. News broke in the Star and Gawker in mid-May, after which the mayor denied the video's existence.
Ford's cell phone allegedly stolen from crack house
The ITO also reveals that on April 20, about a month before the Rob Ford video scandal began to unfold, Project Traveller wiretaps were abuzz about the mayor's cell phone being stolen. That same day, the mayor allegedly told staffers he had lost his cell phone while doing a community clean-up at Colonel Samuel Smith Park. But according to wire taps, that may have not have been true.
Alleged gangster Liban Siyad, got a phone call just before 1 a.m. on April 20, at which time he was allegedly told to go to 15 Windsor Rd., believed by police to be a crack house, because "Rob Ford wants some drugs." Siyad was later heard on wire taps saying the mayor had been "smoking his rocks" that day at 15 Windsor Rd. It was from that alleged crack house that police believe Ford's phone was stolen.
Later that day, as the mayor cleaned up the park, friend and occasional driver Alexander Lisi allegedly called Siad. "LISI accused SIYAD and his friend of stealing the Mayor's phone," the ITO reads. " LISI explained that Rob is freaking out because he needs his phone. SIYAD said he would get in touch with his friend and get the phone back. LISI threatened that if he did not get the phone back that the Mayor would put heat on Dixon."
After that phone call, Siyad allegedly called an unknown male. "They were not pleased with the threats and indicated that they have a picture of FORD 'on a pipe' (believed to be a crack pipe), and therefore will not tolerate his threats," the ITO states. It was for this reason that they were not concerned about the mayor going to police. Indeed, according to police, the mayor's phone was never reported stolen. Nevertheless, later that afternoon, the phone was allegedly handed over to Lisi in exchange for marijuana.
Ford staffer allegedly told of video’s location day after the news of it broke
One month later, allegations surfaced in Gawker and the Toronto Star that a video existed of the mayor smoking crack cocaine. On May 17, the morning after the news first broke, members of the media waited for the mayor outside his home. Confronted with the allegations, Ford called the story "ridiculous."
According to the ITO, Ford staffer and friend David Price was standing by, down the street, at which time he got a call from an unknown number.
The man on the other end said he had information about the drug dealers who had the video, Price told police, and gave the names "Gotti" and "D," along with phone numbers for each.
Police already knew the name Gotti from the Project Traveller wiretaps as the nickname for Mohamed Siad, one of the men believed to have been shopping around the video. Price told police he was also given an address, 320 Dixon Rd., and, later, an apartment, 1703, where he was told the men with the video deal drugs.
Wiretaps suggest murder of man in Ford photo not connected to crack video
Further, Price said he was told that Anthony Smith -- photographed with the mayor outside 15 Windsor Rd. and later gunned down outside a downtown nightclub -- was murdered because of a cell phone holding the alleged crack video.
But wiretaps suggest that this theory was flawed and that Smith's murder may have been pay-back for Smith and his "associates" robbing someone in November 2012.
Before going to police with his newfound information, the ITO alleges that Price went to the mayor's then chief of staff Mark Towhey, and brother, Doug Ford. Price told police he did not tell anyone else and that he believed the Ford brothers were not on speaking terms and, as such, the mayor was unaware of the information.
That doesn't seem to have been the case.
Mayor's staffer alleges Ford had address where video might exist
Former mayoral press secretary George Christopoulos told police that that very same day, May 17, the mayor approached him and said that if the video did exist, it might be at 320 Dixon Rd., in apartment 1701 or 1703.
Four days later, on May 21, 22-year-old Abdullahi Harun was shot on the 17th floor of 320 Dixon Rd. Harun is alleged in Project Traveller to be a gun-toting cocaine trafficker and the second person police believe was trying to sell the Rob Ford video.
Alleged cocaine trafficker claims he had "so much pictures" of Ford doing drugs
In wiretaps, Harun is heard saying he has "so much pictures of Rob Ford" doing drugs -- specifically, "dugga," believed by police to be marijuana, and "hezza," described on UrbanDictionary.com as slang for heroin. Harun survived the shooting.
According to the ITO, Towhey told police that on May 20 or 21, Price told him "that he felt that the situation with 'the video' would be taken care of 'as they spoke.'" Towhey "became uncomfortable" after hearing of the shooting at 320 Dixon Rd. The scandal stretched on.
Wiretaps suggest kidnapping of man allegedly shopping around video
On May 29, police heard on wiretaps that Siyadin Abdi and another man kidnapped Mohamed Siad, "in relation to the video."
According to the ITO, Abdi was heard on a wiretap explaining that "they saw SIAD's car and they took him back to the building. They talked to SIAD about 'the video'. SIAD was crying, saying he destroyed the video and his family is in trouble. ABDI told SIAD that if he saw him in Dixon he would kill him. ABDI said they had SIAD for an hour."
Police could not confirm that this kidnapping happened.
None of these allegations has been proven in court.