CALGARY — Calgary police are investigating the comments of a former adviser of Stephen Harper who suggested on television that the founder of WikiLeaks be assassinated.
In a statement released Monday, Supt. Kevan Stuart said police were prompted to take the step after receiving a number of calls about what University of Calgary professor Tom Flanagan said on CBC.
“The Calgary Police Service will be gathering all facts and compiling a package that will be forwarded to the Crown prosecutors office for review,” Stuart said. “The Crown’s office will then determine if this is a criminal matter.”
Flanagan mused last week on a CBC political talk show panel that U.S. President Barack Obama should consider assassinating WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange because the website released thousands of highly sensitive U.S. government documents.
“I think Assange should be assassinated, actually,” Flanagan said on the air. “I think Obama should put out a contract or maybe use a drone or something.”
The University of Calgary professor has since apologized, saying he wasn’t seriously suggesting Assange should be killed. But on Friday, Assange said Flanagan and others making such statements about him should be charged with incitement to murder.
Neither a telephone message nor an email left for Flanagan Monday were immediately returned.
Flanagan has not advised the prime minister for years and the Conservative government has disavowed all connection to him in recent days.
The University of Calgary has already said that it is not currently considering disciplinary action against Flanagan.
The CBC has said it has received viewer complaints about the remarks, but has said Flanagan will continue to appear as an occasional commentator.
Meanwhile, Assange himself is under investigation by the police.
His lawyer was arranging Monday to deliver the WikiLeaks founder to British police for questioning in a sex-crimes investigation.
Lawyer Mark Stephens told reporters in London that the Metropolitan Police had called him to say they had received an arrest warrant from Sweden.
The 39-year-old Australian is accused of rape and sexual molestation in that country, and the case could lead to his extradition. He has denied the accusations.
, which Stephens has said stem from a “dispute over consensual but unprotected sex.”