Judge offers no decision on release of key Ford video
Published Friday, November 8, 2013 6:35AM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 8, 2013 2:18PM EST
Lawyers seeking the release of a video that purportedly shows Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine will not have a decision on the matter until at least next Tuesday.
Arguing for the release of the video Friday was the lawyer for Muhammad Khattak, one of three men seen in a widely-distributed photo of Ford posing outside a home in Etobicoke.
Khattak and another man have both been charged as alleged members of a drugs and weapons trafficking operation, and were arrested in raids stemming from an investigation called Project Traveller. The third man in the photo, Anthony Smith, was shot and killed earlier this year.
Khattak's lawyer argued Friday that the video should be released to his team, because it could be relevant to help his client defend himself.
During proceedings Friday, Khattak's lawyer argued his client's reputation was being harmed by constant public association with the video.
The Crown responded that she had viewed the video Thursday night at police headquarters and confirmed that Khattak is neither seen nor heard on the video. She said the video is "totally irrelevant" to Khattak's case.
Ontario Superior Court Judge Ian Nordheimer asked to be able to see the video and adjourned the application to Tuesday, when the Crown said it could make the video available to him. It's not clear whether the judge will choose to view the video.
Criminal lawyer Edward Prutschi says, even if Khattak's counsel succeeds in being allowed to view the video, the public may not be able to view it as well.
"Most likely, if it is released at all, it's going to be in the context of a disclosure application so the lawyers can get a handle on it and see if it is of any relevance to the defence of their clients," he told CTV News Channel Friday.
Also next week, Nordheimer is expected to decide whether to release remaining parts of a document that revealed Ford's covert meetings with his friend and alleged drug dealer Alexander Lisi.
Last week, several hundred pages of the document were released, bt many other portions of the document were redacted and blacked out in order to protect "innocent third parties."
Media lawyers have argued the full document is in the public interest and want all of it released.
Also next week, city councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, plans to ask council to petition the province to oust the mayor if he doesn't take a leave of absence on his own accord.
With files from The Canadian Press