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Alberta premier says she will no longer comment on Crown prosecutor controversy

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says she will no longer speak about her involvement in how COVID-19 court cases are being prosecuted.
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Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says she will no longer speak about her involvement in how COVID-19 court cases are being prosecuted.

Smith has told a news conference that her government is considering launching a defamation lawsuit and because of that she has been advised by counsel to not comment.

Smith did not specify who she might be suing but has asked for an apology from the CBC for its coverage, while the CBC has said it stands by its reporting.

The news conference was the first opportunity for reporters to ask Smith about a cellphone recording in which she is heard offering to help Calgary pastor Artur Pawlowski in his criminal case.

She is also heard advising him that his charges were based on political motives and she commiserates with him over Crown tactics.

Opposition NDP justice critic Irfan Sabir says the premier is ducking responsibility by hiding behind the threat of a lawsuit.

Sabir says Smith abused her office in Pawlowski’s case, which awaits a verdict, and he renewed his call for an independent investigation.