Rob Ford's friend Alexander Lisi gets bail

Rob Ford's friend and occasional driver Alexander "Sandro" Lisi was granted bail of $5,000 and must follow a list of restrictions relating to an extortion charge, a day after police confirmed they have a tape that apparently shows the Toronto mayor smoking crack cocaine.

Lisi faces charge in what police say are 'extortive efforts to retrieve a recording'

Release video, Ford's lawyer says

9 years ago
Duration 6:07
Toronto mayor wants the video that allegedly shows him smoking crack cocaine released because it will show that he is innocent

Rob Ford's friend and occasional driver Alexander Lisi was granted bail of $5,000 and must follow a list of restrictions relating to an extortion charge, a day after police confirmed they have a tape that apparently shows the Toronto mayor smoking crack cocaine.

The restrictions include that Lisi be released to his father, and must live with his parents.

Other conditions include that he:

  • Must only own one cellphone or pager.
  • Attempt to get a job or attend school.
  • Have no communication with at least three people, including Fabio and Elaine Basso, owners of the house Ford was photographed in front of with three young men, Mohamed Siad, the man who reportedly tried to sell the video to media, and Liban Siyad.
  • Lisi is also not permitted to go to 15 Windsor Rd., the Bassos' home.
Lisi appeared in court with his back to media on Friday (Alex Tavshunsky/CBC)

Det. Gary Giroux, lead detective in the investigation, was also in court Friday.

Details of police surveillance were released Thursday, and show a flurry of phone calls and meetings between Ford and Lisi in the days after the crack video story first broke in mid-May. The documents were filed by police in their efforts to obtain a search warrant that resulted in Lisi's arrest earlier this month on drug charges.

Ford refused to comment Thursday about the allegations and won't resign, but a handful of councillors and newspaper editorials are calling on him to step down.

A Toronto police press release alleges Lisi, who is also known as Alessandro or Sandro, "made extortive efforts to retrieve a recording."

Ford has 'no reason to resign'

CBC News investigative reporter Dave Seglins said it's believed the charges are related to Lisi's efforts to obtain the video, but expects more will be revealed at Friday's court appearance.

"The question is: Who was [Lisi allegedly] extorting and for what purpose?" said Seglins. "One is left to assume that somehow this is tied to the retrieval of the video."

The surveillance released Thursday also shows Lisi made multiple text messages and phone calls to Mohamed Siad, identified by police reports as one of the people they believed tried to sell the alleged crack video.

Despite calls for his resignation, nothing revealed in the current scandal enveloping Ford can automatically force him from office.

Toronto police Chief Bill Blair said there's nothing on the tape to justify criminal charges and a sitting mayor can only be ousted for missing three consecutive council meetings.

Ford, who was elected to a four-year term in 2010, has said he "has no reason to resign" and plans to run again in next October's provincial election.

"Ultimately this may wind up being a decision for Toronto voters," said Seglins.


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