The Calgary Police Service has announced that it has opened a file on Tom Flanagan, a former aide to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and plans to refer the matter to the Crown prosecutor’s office.
“Due to a number of calls we have received from the public regarding this matter, the Calgary Police Service will be gathering all facts and compiling a package that will be forwarded to the Crown Prosecutors office for review,” reads a statement by CPS Supt. Kevan Stuart. “The Crown’s office will then determine if this is a criminal matter.”
On CBC TV, Tom Flanagan called for the killing of Wikileaks' Julian Assange.
On a November 30 television broadcast on CBC, Flanagan, a professor at the University of Calgary, suggested that Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblower website Wikileaks, should be killed.
“I think Assange should be assassinated, actually,” Flanagan said on the Power and Politics program. “I think Obama should put out a contract and maybe use a drone or something.”
Those remarks prompted Vancouver lawyer Gail Davidson to file a written complaint with the Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP on Saturday (December 4).
“I am concerned that in making these comments, Mr. Flanagan violated the incitement provision of the Criminal Code,” she told the Straight in a telephone interview. “He was not caught in the street and asked for his opinion. He knew that he was coming on the program as a professor and as an ex-advisor to Mr. Harper and”¦he decided to make that comment and that’s now been broadcast all over the world.”
Davidson described the CPS’s move to look into the issue of Flanagan’s remarks as “excellent”.
The Criminal Code of Canada states that it is illegal to counsel someone to commit a criminal offence. According to Section 464(a), “every one who counsels another person to commit and indictable office is, if the offence is not committed, guilty of an indictable offence and liable to the same punishment to which a person who attempts to commit that office is liable.”
Davidson noted that assassination, state-sanctioned or not, is also illegal in Canada.
“It is a very serious thing and it is a matter for the police and the Crown to grapple with,” she said.
Flanagan retracted his remarks about Assange two days after making them.
On Monday (December 6), Martin Kemp, a spokesperson for the Calgary police department, told the Straight that there were no further updates on the case at this time.
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