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Americas

Canada to extradite 1980 Paris synagogue bombing suspect Hassan Diab

media The scene of the bombing near the synagogue in the rue Copernic in 1980 AFP

Canada is to extradite a Lebanese-Canadian academic accused of being behind a bombing outside a Paris synagogue in 1980 to France. Despite a lower court’s comment that the case against him is weak, the Supreme Court in Ottawa ruled that 60-year-old Hassan Diab must be transferred to France quickly.

Diab’s supporters chanted “Shame!” as the ruling was announced on Thursday and his lawyer, Donald Bayne, said he was “profoundly disappointing”.

Canada to extradite 1980 Paris synagogue bombing suspect Hassan Diab

Diab, a sociology professor at Ottawa University who has a two-year-old daughter, was jailed on Wednesday while awaiting the ruling in the case of the bombing in Paris’s rue Copernic, which killed four people, including an Israeli journalist, and injuring 40.

Diab claims that the accusation is based on evidence against someone who shares his name and that he was a student in Beirut at the time of the attack.

A key part of the evidence is a signature on a hotel register.

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"It is beyond devastating that the Supreme Court would allow my extradition for a crime that I did not commit, and based on a handwriting analysis report that was shown by world-renowned handwriting experts to be wholly unreliable, totally erroneous and biased,” he said in a statement read out by supporters on Thursday.

"I vow to never give up, and I will always remain hopeful that I will eventually return to my home in Canada and be reunited with my wife and children."

Guillaume Denoix de Saint-Marc of terror victims’ group AFVT declared he was “relieved for the families” of those killed in the blast.

“The facts are so obvious that it would have been incomprehensible if a democratic state like Canada did not transfer the author of this terrorist act,” Roger Cukierman of Jewish umbrella group Crif said.

In 2011 a court described the French case against Diab as “weak” and insufficient to lead to a trial in Canada.

About 60 academics recently signed an appeal to the Canadian government to stop the extradition process.
 

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