Search warrants may hold clues to alleged Rob Ford crack video
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. (QMI files)
Lawyers representing a number of media organizations, including Sun Media, will be in court Thursday fighting to unearth search warrant records that may hold a clue to the whereabouts of the alleged Mayor Rob Ford crack video.
But lawyers for the Ontario's attorney general's office and the Toronto Police are arguing they should be able to cover up the bulk of the information which triggered the granting of the search warrants used in the massive June 13 bust of a Rexdale street gang that allegedly trafficked in narcotics and firearms.
The police and Crown argue this redaction -- or blacking out -- is necessary because "that particular information relates to a police investigative technique which cannot be disclosed," a media factum filed Monday stated.
Media lawyers also want to know why an original 205-page document, which contains the police rationale for seeking search warrants and wiretaps, has been reduced to 119 pages.
As a result, some information has never been disclosed to media lawyers who will argue that the public has a right to know what is in the document.
"The Crown has not justified its need for a redaction at this point," the factum stated.
Since the massive arrests have been made, media lawyers will argue the need for secrecy has been eliminated and the principles of an open justice system should prevail.
"The need for continued concealment virtually disappears," the factum stated.
"To this point, the Crown has not identified a serious risk to the proper administration of justice, much less shown that a sealing order is necessary to the exclusion of other reasonable alternative measures -- to prevent such a risk," the factum argued.
Peter Jacobsen, a Toronto media lawyer, will argue that a search warrant affidavit and a record of the findings of the search should be disclosed.