Man who allegedly shopped Ford video appears in court
Mohamed Siad charged with drug, firearms and trafficking offences
A number of people arrested during the Project Traveller gang raids appeared in court today, including the man believed to have been shopping a video that allegedly showed Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack.
Mohamed Siad has been charged with more than two dozen criminal counts, including drug, firearms and trafficking charges.
He made a brief video appearance in court Wednesday. Siad changed lawyers and was told that he would need to appear in court again on Oct. 1.
Siad was among dozens charged as a result of the year-long Project Traveller investigation, which police say targeted a criminal organization that dealt drugs and brought guns into Canada.
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The Toronto Star has identified Siad as the man who in May showed two reporters a video of Ford allegedly using crack cocaine.
While the alleged video has not been released, both the Star and the U.S. gossip website Gawker reported that someone in Toronto had been shopping it.
Both Gawker and the Star had been offered the opportunity to buy the video, though neither did so.
Ford has denied both using cocaine and also the video's existence.
Toronto Star reporter Kevin Donovan recently told CBC Radio's As It Happens that he only learned Siad's identity after his arrest during Project Traveller.
"We now know who he is," Donovan said in an interview.
Donovan said that Siad was stabbed in jail shortly after his arrest and was subsequently put into protective custody.
The Crown gave defence lawyers seven DVDs of disclosure materials Wednesday. Additional materials are expected to come.
Two other men charged in those raids, Mohammad Khattak and Monir Kasim, also appeared in court on Wednesday.
Khattak and Kasim appeared in a photo with Ford that was made public at the same time that the reports of the video emerged.
A third man who was in the same photo, Anthony Smith, was shot dead in Toronto earlier this year.
Ford has not explained why he was in the photo with Khattak, Kasim and Smith, or the circumstances that were occurring when it was taken.
The story about the alleged drug video made headlines across the country and even caught the attention of late-night comedians in the United States.
Ford, who turned 44 earlier this year, has served as the mayor of Toronto for nearly three years.
With a report from the CBC's Steven D'Souza