Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Allegations made by T.O, police

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A court document released Thursday revealed allegations of a video appearing to show Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine were the focus of a police investigation that resulted in the arrest of the mayor's friend, Alexander Lisi, on drug charges. Here are 10 key revelations from the court document, which contains police allegations not proven in court:

Staffers and friends of Ford had concerns about his relationship with Lisi, suspecting Lisi was providing the mayor with drugs, though none witnessed such a transaction.

Surveillance officers saw Ford meet several times with Lisi, sometimes at a gas station or behind a school, and on some occasions Lisi was seen meeting with Ford and leaving a bag in the mayor's vehicle.

A confidential informant gave police a copy of a photo, also published by the Toronto Star and Gawker, showing Ford posing with Anthony Smith, who was later shot and killed, and two men who were arrested as part of Project Traveller, a drugs and weapons investigation.

Features of the house in the background of that photo match that of one on 15 Windsor Road, the residence of the Basso family, some of whom have criminal records, including for drug offences. The confidential informant refers to the house as belonging to "a couple of crack heads," but people go there to "chop crack or just hang out and get drunk."

Police started surveillance of the home in April, before the media allegations about Ford emerged, as they believed it to be a crack house. A surveillance crew reported seeing activity "consistent with drug trafficking."

Former Ford staffer Chris Fickel told police he doesn't know where Ford gets marijuana, but has heard that Lisi provides the mayor with marijuana and "possibly cocaine." He has never seen Lisi give the mayor drugs.

Ford's friend Payman Aboodowleh, who coached football with him, told police he was mad at Lisi because he was "fuelling the mayor's drug abuse." Aboodowleh told police Ford met Lisi through him.

Phone records show frequent telephone contact between Lisi and Ford, up to 18 times a day.

After the Gawker and Toronto Star reports were published, phone records show Lisi had frequent phone contact with Fabio Basso, a resident of the home police allege is a crack house, where the photo of Ford appears to have been taken.

Lisi also called Mohamed Siad, who the police report says "is believed to have been one of the people trying to sell the Mayor Ford crack video." Ford calls Lisi six times the night after the reports went out, and during the next two days Lisi calls Siad again three times.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 1, 2013 A8

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