Just when it seemed that we would never get to see a video showing Toronto mayor Rob Ford (allegedly!) smoking crack, there's a renewed hope it may yet surface because Canadian authorities could be in possession of a whispered back-up copy.
This morning there are "questions" about whether or not the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are in possession of the Rob Ford crack video after they obtained search warrants for a murder suspect's cell phone last week. "Six media organizations, including the CBC, are now asking the courts for a look inside sealed police documents to find out whether the RCMP seized a cellphone or computer that may contain video evidence connected to the Ford affair," CBC News reports. Previously, the Globe and Mail reported Hanad Mohamed, a 23-year-old Toronto native, was arrested in Alberta in connection with Anthony Smith's murder. Smith, 21, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Toronto in March.
These reports are the first that the video may still exist somewhere after Gawker's John Cook announced on Tuesday evening that the sellers of the crack video told his intermediary that it was "gone." They didn't say where it went, exactly, but the message was clear: the transaction Gawker had crowdfunded for $200,000 was not going to happen. Cook said the dealers faced immense pressure from Toronto's Somali community after it came out their ethnicity was revealed in the press.
The Globe and the Toronto Star reported former Ford chief of staff Mark Towhey was interviewed by Toronto homicide detectives in the wake of the crack video surfacing. He allegedly told them the exact address where the video was located in Toronto, and that, maybe, the original owner may have been killed for the tape. The implication was that Smith was the tape's original owner. "Sources familiar with the investigation said detectives have obtained search warrants for Mr. Mohamed’s cellphone and homes and are looking for at least one other suspect," the Globe reported. Smith was seen with his arm around Ford in the pictures distributed to the Star and Gawker by the alleged drug dealers who were, until Tuesday, offering to sell the video for $200,000. Mohamed has been transfered to Toronto police custody and already made his first court appearance.
Previous reports have suggested there was another copy of the tape stored somewhere outside of Toronto for safe keeping. What the CBC and the other organizations trying to get a peak into Mohamed's court documents are trying to find is whether or not his cell phone holds that back-up copy.
This thing may come out yet.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.