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Judge orders release of Project Traveller documents

An Ontario Court judge has ordered Crown attorneys to provide to media lawyers police information gathered to obtain search warrants in Project Traveller, a year-long investigation that led to about 60 arrests last year.

Lawyers representing several media organizations, including The Globe and Mail, have been pressing for the unsealing of police affidavits related to mid-June raids that focused on taking down a west Toronto gang known as the Dixon City Bloods. Arrests were also made in Windsor and Alberta.

In a ruling released Wednesday, Justice Philip Downes ordered the Crown to release the documents to media lawyers by Feb. 19. The documents include details gathered through police wiretaps.

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The judge's ruling does not mean the public will get to see the police information next month. A ruling must still be made on whether the details should be made public.

Media lawyers were successful in arguing for the release of a nearly 500-page police document submitted to court in October in connection to a drug case involving Alessandro Lisi, a friend of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

According to that document, Toronto police believe at least three of the men arrested in Project Traveller tried to sell to media outlets a video of Mr. Ford. In a video shown to U.S. website Gawker and The Toronto Star, Mr. Ford is allegedly seen smoking crack cocaine from a glass pipe.

That video was recovered by police from a computer hard drive seized during Project Traveller. It has not been shown publicly.

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