On Friday, a Toronto judge has postponed a case until next that week that could lead to the release of a video that purportedly shows Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. The matter has been adjourned until Tuesday when the judge will screen the video . The legal team of Muhammad Khattak, the man who is seen standing with Rob Ford in an infamous video, is seeking the release of the two videos seized by the police.
Khattak’s lawyers argue that the video should be released to them so they can determine whether the video aids in the legal defense of their client. During the proceedings, Khattak’s lawyers argues that their client’s reputation has been tarnished by the mass distribution of the still photograph image by the media, and that their client was already facing an uphill battle. Khattak’s lawyers believe that the photo has been incorrectly linked to the video.
Crown attorney, Grace Hession David, told the court that she had recently viewed the video and that Khattak – an alleged gang member who posed in a photo with Ford outside an Etobicoke home which police documents have called a crack house – does not appear in it nor is his voice heard. David said that the video is totally irrelevant to Khattak’s case. The legal fight over the item is now before a judge with Khattak’s lawyer arguing that their client is entitled to a copy of the video as an “interested party.”
Khattak was detained in a June 13 Project Traveller raids, where police busted a guns and drug network, primarily in a Dixon Rd. apartment complex. Khattak, who has been released on bail, is charged with participating in a criminal organization by trafficking cocaine and other illicit substances. Khattak’s lawyer told the judge that he has no intention to publicize the video and that his client is entitled to “relevant disclosure” that might assist in giving his client the best chance to defend himself in a court of law.
Edward Prutschi, a legal expert who appears regularly in Canada’s national media and Toronto criminal lawyer, was on CTV News to discuss whether lawyers of those criminally charged, and those who have allegedly been associated with the Rob Ford crack video, will be able to see the video. Mr. Prutschi provides some background information to the viewers: the lawyer of at least one of those charged in the Project Traveller raids, would like to privately access the infamous video to see if it has any pertinence to their client’s charge.
Mr. Prutschi says that normally in this type of situation lawyers would file a disclosure application, which would happen further down the line, but lawyers would like to short-circuit this and get it a little sooner. Even if they succeed in being granted disclosure, Mr. Prutschi is skeptical that the video will be released to the broader public.
Mr. Prutschi is then asked about the Alessandro Lisi case, and what should we expect when more documents are released in the near future. Mr. Prutschi emphasizes that the release of these documents would be extremely insightful and is more likely to be disclosed. Mr. Prutschi reminds the audience that while we are enamored with the Ford video, the documents are far more important in that they reveal a lot more details and intricacies of the case, which includes wiretaps from the months-long Project Traveller case.
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