Rob Ford friend Sandro Lisi fights release of more surveillance details
Lisi is 'collateral damage' in Project Brazen 2 investigation, say his lawyers
More details of the police surveillance on Rob Ford and his friend Alexander (Sandro) Lisi were released by the Ontario Superior Court today.
Media outlets have been seeking the release of more pages from Information To Obtain (ITO) documents filed by police in order to get warrants as part of their investigation.
Some portions of the documents have already been released and allege links between the mayor, Lisi and people the police have identified as drug dealers.
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The court has partially lifted a publication ban on more documents today, mostly describing phone calls made following the release of the media reports about the so-called crack video.
Some of the detail around those calls have been released before, but today's include more specifics.
For instance, police discovered 50 separate phone calls and text messages from May 17, 2013, the day after the media first reported on the existence of the crack video, that related to Ford and that news.
Lisi has been charged with extortion and drug offences as a result of the police investigation Project Brazen 2.
Portions of one ITO document were released publicly in October, and sections of another ITO were released in March. But the rest of the details in the ITOs remain under a publication ban.
Lawyers for Jamshid Bahrami, who operates Richview Cleaners, a dry cleaning business, and was charged with drug possession in Project Brazen 2, argued in court today information in the ITOs should remain under a publication ban.
His lawyer suggests his client has been defamed, but said he does not have the resources to take on "media empires and Toronto police."
Lisi’s lawyers also made appeals to keep the remainder of the documents from the public. "Lisi is not the focus of investigation,” argues his lawyer. Lisi’s lawyer says he is “collateral damage" in an investigation of Rob Ford.
Ford's name appears in the ITOs extensively, but no charges have been laid against him.
None of the information in the ITOs has been proven in court.
Prosecutors also asked the court not to release the remaining ITO information. Crown prosecutors say they want to ensure a fair trial for Lisi and Bahrami. Some of the information in the ITOs could be viewed as "highly incriminating," and should be kept under the ban for now, court was told by the Crown.