A judge has rejected Mohammad Khattak's attempt to get access to the infamous video.
A valiant attempt to give the Rob Ford crack video its world premiere fell flat today when Justice Ian Nordheimer denied an application by an alleged drug trafficker, who was trying to access the video so he could clear himself of involvement in making it.
Although Nordheimer’s judgment prevents the man, whose name is Mohammad Khattak, from viewing the video or releasing it to the public, it does offer some tantalizing details about a second video that was also seized by police. During Khattak’s court hearing, a Crown attorney said, apparently wrongly, that the two videos depict the same event. Nordheimer, though, says the two videos show different events, but ones that appear to be related. Here are his exact, frustratingly vague, words:
The video that I viewed is approximately 90 seconds long. It is the one in which the Mayor of the City of Toronto is featured. The second video is much shorter and is separate and apart from that first video. However, from the content of the second video, it might be reasonably concluded that what is revealed in the second video relates back to the first video.
So, the judge seems to be suggesting that the second video doesn’t feature the mayor. But the awkward judicial phrasing makes it very difficult to know for sure.
Khattak became wrapped up in Mayor Ford’s increasingly weird drug scandal right at the beginning, in May, when Gawker and the Star first broke the news of the crack video’s existence. Both media outlets were provided with a photo that was supposed to establish the bona fides of the video’s owner. The photo shows Ford outside a home that belongs to his friend Fabio Basso—a home that police say is a crack house. The mayor’s arms are around three men: Anthony Smith, who was later murdered; and Monir Kasim and Mohammad Khattak, both of whom were arrested on drug charges as part of June’s Project Traveller raids. Khattak’s argument (through his lawyers) was that his reputation was being damaged by association with the video, and that he needed access to it in order to help clear his name.
In his judgment, Nordheimer says that Khattak doesn’t actually need access to either video in order to defend himself in court, so they will remain locked away for the time being. (It’s not clear whether Nordheimer would have allowed anyone other than Khattak to view the videos, in any case.) Fortunately for curious members of the public, there’s still an excellent chance that both videos will surface in some other way. Nordheimer’s ruling doesn’t prevent them from being released as part of other court proceedings.