Boris Bytensky discusses the legal ramifications of
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair shook Toronto’s political landscape when he made the stunning announcement that investigators had recovered a video that allegedly shows Mayor Rob Ford smoking a crack pipe. Chief Blair said that the digital file was recovered by police’s technology department on a hard drive that was seized in July in unrelated raids that targeted gang activity in Toronto’s northwest end.
Earlier this year in May, popular blog website Gawker and The Toronto Star published reports of the video’s existence and claimed to have viewed it. The stories made headlines around the world.
More recently, Ford’s friend and associate, Alessandro Lisi, was formally charged with one count of extortion that allegedly directly connects him to efforts to try and retrieve a recording of the video in question. Lisi is also currently facing criminal allegations that he possessed drugs for the purpose of trafficking
Prior to the announcement by Chief Blair, the police were ordered to release an edited 480 page document that provides insight into the police investigation into Mayor Ford’s suspicious activities that highlights strange transactions and clandestine meetings between the mayor and Lisi.
Boris Bytensky, a criminal lawyer at Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman, was a guest on CTV News to discuss this case. Mr. Bytensky is first asked if the mayor is potentially in legal hot water. Mr. Bytensky responds that because the police investigation is ongoing and the tape has not been released for public consumption, it is almost impossible at this point to see if any criminal charges will be laid against the mayor. Mr. Bytensky emphasizes, however, that if the contents on the video are incriminating in any way, they can be critical in helping the Crown bring a case against Mayor Ford.
Mr. Bytensky is then asked if the mayor will be interviewed by the police. Mr. Bytensky says that the police may want to interview the mayor for a variety of reasons: If the mayor is a suspect in a case, they will want to interview him or if police believe that the mayor is a person of interest and can help with the information-gathering efforts in another case, they may bring him in for questioning. In all of these circumstances, they suffice as reasonable grounds for questioning. Mr. Bytensky says that if the Toronto mayor is formally charged, we must distinguish Rob Ford as a politician and the disclosures he has to make as a public figure with Rob Ford the criminal suspect, who has had criminal charges levied against him, which gives him the right to remain silent, a right to legal counsel and so on.
Click on the link below to view Toronto Criminal Lawyer Boris Bytensky’s appearance: