Rob Ford video won't prove crack use, lawyer says
Suggests pipe in the video may have contained marijuana or tobacco
Rob Ford's lawyer urged police to release the video alleged to show the Toronto mayor smoking crack cocaine, and suggested Ford was smoking another substance, such as marijuana or tobacco.
Dennis Morris said in an interview with CBC News that Ford is "innocent of any allegations made about his smoking crack cocaine."
He also said neither police nor the Toronto Star reporters who say they have viewed the video can confirm the substance being smoked on the video is crack.
"No one is going to approach the media with a video saying he's smoking tobacco or marijuana — it's not salacious enough," said Morris. "It's not going to sell newspapers, it's not going to make headlines all over the world."
(Listen to the interview with Morris by clicking on the audio file at the top of this story.)
"In my view the reporters from The Toronto Star have probably never smoked crack cocaine as [have] probably 99 per cent of our citizenry," said Morris. "For someone to approach them asking a large sum of money, would it make more sense to say 'I have a video of the mayor smoking crack cocaine, or have a video of the mayor smoking perhaps tobacco, or marijuana? Which one would you be interested in if you're going to buy a video?"
Morris's comments come one day after Toronto police Chief Bill Blair said police have in their possession "a digital file that contains video images which appear to be those images which were previously reported in the press."
Those statements are thought to confirm the existence of a video the two Star reporters say they've viewed, and that the newspaper has reported shows Ford smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.
Ford denies being crack addict
But speaking with CBC on Friday, Morris suggested the video does not show Ford smoking crack.
"I urge the police chief to state under oath that he has seen a video of the mayor smoking crack cocaine," said Morris.
A week after reports of the tape broke in May, Ford said he could not comment on a tape that doesn't exist and denied he's a crack addict.
Reports about the tape triggered a massive police surveillance effort focused on Ford and his associates. Details of that police work made public Thursday show police tracking Ford and others with hidden cameras, undercover officers and airplane surveillance.
Ford's friend and occasional driver Alexander Lisi, who the surveillance shows made multiple calls and conducted clandestine meetings with Ford in the days after the story broke, is facing a charge of extortion and will appear in court today.
Police spokesperson Mark Pugash responded to Morris's comments Friday with a statement saying police do not plan to release the tape.
"Chief Blair has said, repeatedly, that we will put evidence before the courts and it is up to them to decide what is released," he said.