A Toronto woman says she felt threatened by an e-mail response she says she received from a former Stephen Harper adviser at the centre of a controversy over his comments about WikiLeaks.
Janet Reymond says she felt “justifiably outraged” after Tom Flanagan mused on a CBC political talk show last week that the founder of WikiLeaks should be killed.
Mr. Flanagan said U.S. President Barack Obama should consider assassinating Julian Assange because his website released thousands of highly sensitive U.S. government documents.
Mr. Flanagan, a University of Calgary professor, has since apologized, saying he wasn't seriously suggesting Mr. Assange should be killed.
But late last week Mr. Assange said Mr. Flanagan and others making such statements about him should be charged with incitement to murder. And on Monday Calgary police said they were investigating and it would be up to the Crown to decide whether to lay charges.
In an interview Tuesday with The Canadian Press, Ms. Reymond said she e-mailed Mr. Flanagan after his televised comment and he sent back a one-sentence reply that said simply, “Better be careful, we know where you live.”
Ms. Reymond said she considered that a threat and immediately called Toronto Police.
“I did. In fact when the Toronto Police came to my door it was 1:30 in the morning and I was still up. I couldn't sleep.”
Ms. Reymond said she showed the e-mail to the officer but he said it was “borderline” whether it could be considered a threat. She also called police in Calgary, but was told she would have to make any complaint in person.
The e-mail that Ms. Reymond sent to Mr. Flanagan was blunt: “So you are in favour of assassinating people that you disagree with. Does the Reform Party have no ethical basis? Agree with us or get assassinated?”
Ms. Reymond says she is politically active and voted Liberal in the last federal election. She says she retired from the insurance industry three years ago.
She said she is not asking that criminal charges be laid against Mr. Flanagan.
“I just want an apology from him and assurance that he won't harm me.”
Mr. Flanagan, a political science professor at the University of Calgary, did not reply to requests for an interview.
A university spokesman said statements made by Mr. Flanagan do not represent the views of the institution and no disciplinary action is being considered.
Mr. Flanagan served as senior communications adviser for the federal Conservatives in the 2006 election that brought Prime Minister Stephen Harper to power.
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