Lost in Ford narrative

It's the seemingly innocuous details in court documents that point to a scarier picture


You didn’t have to read much into the March 19 dump of court documents in the ongoing Rob Ford crack video scandal to conclude that the investigation extends beyond a few gangbangers.

Last week’s instalment finally confirmed what we knew from the chief of police and other reports: the mayor was smoking a narcotic that appeared to be crack in the basement of the Windsor Avenue bungalow of his high school chum Fabio Basso. Now we know that scene took place Sunday, February 17, 2013, during the Family Day weekend.

The other news: police believe Ford’s frequent interactions with alleged drug dealer Alexander “Sandro” Lisi are “indicative of drug trafficking.”

We should find out more about the specifics once police have sifted through the 10 gigabytes of audio and video on Lisi’s cellphone that were the object of the latest search warrant application in court. The beat goes on.

One seemingly innocuous detail on page 477 of the newly released material, about the November 2013 police interview with Elena Basso, older sister of Ford friend Fabio of the now infamous crack house on Windsor, arouses curiosity.

It’s clear from the police account that the woman sometimes called “Princess” was in no mood to talk about Ford or anything else related to the crack video. Why would she be? The mayor is a family friend. He attended her father’s funeral. Her other brother Enzo has worked at the Fords’ Deco Labels factory for 10 years.

And so when police showed her photographs of gangbangers and various Dixon Bloods who form the cast of characters of the crack video probe, Basso wrote the word “Nothing” next to each one. She claimed not to know Liban Siyad and Mohamed Siad, the central figures in the attempt to sell the Ford video.

But when she was shown a photo of Anthony Smith, whose shooting death outside a King West club in March 2013 has hung like a cloud over the entire affair, Basso wrote something different. She wrote “Sad.”

The court documents don’t say why. Had she simply heard about the shooting in the news? Or was her cryptic message telling investigators something?

Basso was obviously lying about Siyad and Siad. They were with her in the basement on Windsor when the video of Ford was shot.

It came to light last week that hers is the voice heard off-camera in the Ford crack video egging the mayor on to make those homophobic and racists comments we’ve heard so much about.

Siyad also turns up in the court documents along with Elena Basso in relation to the mayor’s “lost” cellphone, again at the Basso residence, last April. Basso called him to “come over quickly” because the mayor was on his way.

The prevailing narrative has been that gangbangers and crackheads in the wilds of north Etobicoke have been fighting among themselves for the Ford video or copies of it for the purposes of blackmail. There’s another narrative involving Smith’s murder and what connection it may have to the Ford video, the details of which are not yet understood. The mayor’s former head of logistics, David Price, told police the video was the motive for Smith’s death. Police have discounted that claim, saying Smith was killed in retaliation for a robbery.

But it has always been puzzling that homicide investigators have led the Ford probe.

Maybe we shouldn’t read too much into Basso’s sympathy for Smith. Perhaps that, too, is yet another unexceptional detail.

enzom@nowtoronto.com | @enzodimatteo

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