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Canadian University Prof Extradited To France Over 1980 Synagogue Bombing

Canadian University Prof Extradited To France Over 1980 Synagogue Bombing

Charged with a synagogue bombing in Paris, a former professor at University of Ottawa in Ontario is to be extradited to France to face charges over the 1980 crime.

Hassan Diab, a Palestine-born Canadian, was working at University of Ottawa when he was arrested in 2008. France claims that in 1980 Diab was a member of the Popular Front For The Liberation Of Palestine, a terrorist organization that set off a bomb outside the Union Libérale Israélite de France synagogue on October 3, 1980, killing 4 and injuring 40. Diab has been fighting his prosecution and extradition to France ever since.

The French prosecution’s case hinges on four specific pieces of evidence: that Mr. Diab resembles police sketches of the bomber; that his handwriting matches that of the bomber (as compared to a sample thought to have been left by the bomber in France); that he was identified by intelligence sources and former friends as having been a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; and that his passport was used to get into France around the time of the 1980 bombing, in “suspicious circumstances.”

However, Mr Diab vehemently protests the charges and says he is completely unfamiliar with these crimes. He says he was a student in Beirut at the time of the bombing and had nothing to do with PFLP.  His lawyers are also strongly objecting to the handwriting evidence, stating that their experts have examined the documents and find no correlation between Diab’s writing and that of the bomber. An Ottawa judge agreed and said that the handwriting evidence was “‘very problematic,’ ‘very confusing,’ and riddled with ‘suspect conclusions’.” However, Canadian law does not allow the judge to disregard the French evidence. In addition, Diab’s lawyers had some of the evidence against Diab thrown out, challenging the prosecution to prove that it had not been extracted under torture.

Diab also stated he had been subjected to harassment prior to his 2008 arrest, forcing him to take a second apartment in an adjacent city in Quebec in order to attempt to avoid being followed.

A judge upheld the order for extradition this morning, calling the evidence against Diab “weak” but adding that that he must expect France to provide Diab with a fair trial.

Diab is now expected to appeal the extradition – a process that could take more than a year.


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Photo from: The.Comedian on flickr

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4:47PM PDT on Aug 21, 2011

The long arm of the law!

2:41PM PDT on Jun 8, 2011

18 posts. A new record. The best I've seen on Care2 before was 13.

I should probably mention that while #18 does not condone the bombing itself, he condones the assocated murder. As it is the murder which most people actually care about, I say that's close enough.

5:54AM PDT on Jun 8, 2011

Parvez, why do you put the word "Jews" in all caps ("JEWS")? That's the only word in your entire comment that was so capitalized.

You appear, from your comment, to believe it's rational to have 'personal feelings' against Jewish people.

1:59AM PDT on Jun 8, 2011

Thanks noted irrespective of the personal feeling against Israel and Jews one should respect place of worship, protesting against Israel Govt and JEWS for occupation of Palestinian land and killing innocent people is his right but certainly not destroying place of worshi

8:14PM PDT on Jun 7, 2011

very interesting. thanks.

4:46PM PDT on Jun 7, 2011


3:32PM PDT on Jun 7, 2011

thank u

11:25AM PDT on Jun 7, 2011

The case sounds flimsy and smacks of a potential 'witch-hunt'. If he is guilty, then justice has been served but if he's not guilty, then another person has been victimized by the system even if he gets a 'fair' trial.

While I think all religions are ridiculous, I don't advocate causing physical harm to people for their beliefs or denying them the same rights enjoyed by others (something many religious groups cannot claim).

11:03AM PDT on Jun 7, 2011

Bernadette said if he has nothing to hide he has nothing to fear. Are you completely ignorant of the ways of the world? Have you no idea of how many thousands of people are routinely convicted of crimes they didn't commit? I'd rather have a million guilty people on the street than one innocent person in prison. Apparently though, you would not have a problem going to prison even if you were innocent.

9:51AM PDT on Jun 7, 2011

The truth will come out(maybe).

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