Project Brazen: new details on alleged attempt to retrieve ‘crack video’

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford attends an executive committee meeting on March 19 2014. Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

TORONTO – An Ontario court has released more details from two search warrants filed in the Project Brazen investigation targeting Mayor Rob Ford and his friend, Sandro Lisi.

One search warrant was filed on March 7. The newly released details show that police intercepted 50 separate communications on May 17, 2013 that they believe relate to the infamous “crack video.”

The Toronto Star and Gawker first reported on the existence of the video on May 16.

READ MORE: Crack-smoking Toronto mayor Rob Ford tells radio show he’s ‘not a criminal’

The second search warrant was filed January 14. The newly released information from that document suggests Lisi made several calls to people between May 16 and May 18 as he allegedly attempted to retrieve the video.

“He made several calls to people including numbers associated to Elena BASSO, Liban Siyad, Mohamed SIAD, Mayor FORD’s cellphone, Mayor FORD residential number, Mayor FORD’s OnStar number and Thomas BEYER.”

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The Project Brazen investigation was sparked by communications intercepted by police during the Project Traveller investigation which focused on a street gang in the Dixon Road area of Etobicoke. A number of people were arrested in the Traveller raids.

READ MORE: Why mayoral candidates didn’t question Ford on crack scandal

The allegations made in the documents have not been proven in court.

The new information, previously under publication ban, comes from warrant requests police filed in January and March – the latter just days after Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair transferred oversight of Project Brazen to the Ontario Provincial Police.

Ford and his brother have vocally alleged the ongoing criminal investigation into the mayor is politically motivated and a waste of money, claiming Blair is biased. Blair has repudiated those accusations.

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