In the wake of a troubling week for Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, an Ontario judge has decided to postpone a decision to release the video of Ford allegedly smoking crack cocaine until next week.
Defence lawyers for Muhammed Khattak, one of the three men seen in the undated picture with Rob Ford outside an Etobicoke home, spoke before the Superior Court of Justice on Friday morning, requesting that the video be shown.
Khattak’s lawyer Nathan Gorham argued that the release of the video would allow his client to defend himself, proving that he had no involvement in the video, nor the “innuendo” of Rob Ford’s troubles.
Gorham stated that since the infamous picture of Khattak with Ford circulated in May, his family’s world had “been turned upside down,” and has caused them great distress.
Khattak and another man have been charged as alleged members of a drug and weapon trafficking operation known as Project Traveller. The third man seen in the photo, Anthony Smith, was shot and killed earlier this year.
Justice Ian Norheimer called the request problematic, saying that that it would be prejudicial to others that appear in the video; he also didn’t see how it would advance Khattak’s interests, other than to “leapfrog the criminal process” to prove his innocence.
Gorham disagreed, stating that releasing the video would be protecting the interests of Khattak and his family.
Crown attorney Grace Hession David, who was requested to speak by the Judge, said that she had seen the video earlier; Khattak was neither seen nor heard on it, which made Gorham’s case irrelevant.
Justice Norheimer said he was undecided on whether to view the video or not, but will raise the matter again next Tuesday at 2 pm.