Wiretaps capture crack video talk: police

By: The Canadian Press

 | Apr 03, 2014 - 2:07 PM |
TORONTO - Toronto police allege that in the wake of media reports about the so-called Rob Ford crack video, a resident of a suspected crack house complained that the mayor's "people" were coming by every day.

Information that police allege they heard on wiretaps, but has not been proven in court, was ordered released to the public today by an Ontario Superior Court judge.

In the documents police summarize the conversations they overheard, including one between alleged gang member Liban Siyad and Elena Basso, whose home police allege is a "frequent hangout for crack cocaine users."

Police say that during the conversation — four days after the crack video reports were published — Basso suggests it was filmed in her house and now "Rob's...people" and police were there every day.

Police say Basso complains that the person who filmed the video "brought down heat" on the whole area and that it would ruin both her business and Siyad's business.

Ford's friend Alexander Lisi has been charged with extortion for alleged attempts to get his hands on the video, but Ford has not been charged with any criminal offence in the investigation.

Ford said Thursday that he feels his name has been "cleared" now that the Ontario Provincial Police have stepped back from a lengthy criminal investigation into his activities.

OPP spokesman Sgt. Pierre Chamberland said the provincial force was no longer overseeing the Toronto police investigation as no new information had come forward.

But Toronto police said "Project Brazen 2" was ongoing and the OPP were still involved.

Spokesman Mark Pugash said when the investigation was concluded, Toronto police planned to sit down with the OPP and the Crown to decide on next steps.

Ford said he knew all along he had done nothing wrong and the OPP's latest comments help confirm that.

The OPP had agreed to oversee "Project Brazen 2" last month after a request from Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who said he had asked for the assistance to avoid "distractions" that could hamper the probe.

Ford has publicly accused Blair of wasting tax money with the investigation, and has repeatedly challenged the chief to arrest and charge him.

The investigation arose last spring out of a year-long guns, gangs and drugs probe.

It was during the initial probe that police uncovered a video showing Ford apparently smoking crack cocaine, and decided to investigate his activities.

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