Toronto

Mohamed Siad selfie video brags about how to secretly record mayor

A selfie video has surfaced of the man who captured images of Rob Ford smoking crack bragging about how he secretly recorded the mayor.

Siad told court he didn't recall how video was taken

Mohamed Siad reacts with glee after clandestine taping of then-mayor smoking crack 0:27

A selfie video has surfaced of the man who captured images of Rob Ford smoking crack bragging about how he secretly recorded Toronto's mayor. 

"That's how you catch a person slipping, catch a predator or even catch your f--kin' mayor smoking crack, ni--a!" laughs Mohamed Siad into a cellphone camera.  

The video was obtained by CBC News from a Toronto court file that is now public, in a case involving Alexander "Sandro" Lisi.

Siad admitted to friends he used his cellphone to record Rob Ford smoking a crack pipe. He then tried to sell the video to the U.S. news website Gawker.com and to the Toronto Star.

Transcript

(Prepared by Crown prosecutors in the criminal case involving charges of extortion against Lisi.)

MOHAMED SIAD: God damn, that's some crazy-ass s--t.  I just gotta aim the camera towards a person and they don't never, ever know what the f--k you're doing as long as you're just playing with your phone and just doing some bulls--t, and yeah, that's how you catch a person slipping, catch a predator or even catch your f--kin' mayor smoking crack, ni--a, ha ha.

Video released after publication ban lifted

Police found the selfie recording on Siad's laptop along with the video file showing Rob Ford smoking a crack pipe. The laptop was seized in a raid by Toronto police in a crackdown on gun and gang activity in the northwest of the city.

The scandal around the video sparked an intensive investigation dubbed Project Brazen that involved wiretaps and aerial surveillance, as well as phone-tracing of the mayor and his associates. 

Ford was never charged. However, his friend and occasional driver, Lisi, was charged with extortion over his attempts to retrieve the cellphone video.

Siad was called to testify at the preliminary hearing for Lisi in the spring of 2015.  

Siad told the court he didn't recall how either video was taken, and couldn't remember whether he'd owned a laptop. He also denied knowing Lisi, Rob Ford or any of the household members at 15 Windsor Rd.

At one point there was muffled laughter in the courtroom at Old City Hall after Siad said, "I don't recall" before the Crown had finished asking a question.

The judge instructed Siad to wait until the prosecutor had asked a question before answering.

Siad, who was arrested as part of a sweep of gang suspects in 2013 known as Project Traveller, was sentenced in July 2015 to eight years in jail for trafficking guns and drugs.

The extortion charge against Lisi was dropped Thursday, paving the way for the lifting of the publication ban on the crack video and its public release more than three years after Siad shot it.

 In court on Thursday, the Crown said the case against Lisi was weakened because the two men he was accused of threatening, Liban Siyad and Mohamed Siad, didn't co-operate during the preliminary hearing.

Ford died of cancer in March.