The French Supreme Court will rule the terrorism case of Canadian scholar Hassan Diab next week

The French Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling on May 19 to determine whether Canadian scholar Hassan Diab (Hassan Diab) must stand trial for the 40-year bomb attack outside the Paris Synagogue.

In January, the French Court of Appeal overturned a lower court ruling that led to Diab’s release due to lack of evidence. Diab’s French lawyers filed an appeal, which was heard today in the French Supreme Court of Appeal. The court’s decision will expire next week.

Don Bayne, Diab’s Canadian lawyer, said at a press conference in Ottawa: “The scapegoat trial is unfair.” “This happened because of strong lobbying by important and influential groups in France. They have pushed for the innocent. The trial.”

Diab’s release was opposed by more than 20 civil society groups in France, including victims of terrorist groups and pro-Israel organizations.

But the French Minister of Justice supported Diab’s legal team at the hearing and demanded his release.

If the court rules against Diab, French authorities may seek to extradite him for trial or trial in absentia. If Diab wins, his case will be sent back to the lower court for a retrial of the legality of his release from the French detention facility.

Amnesty International’s Director of Planning and Communications, Isan Gadi, said: “All the evidence only shows innocence, not a sense of guilt.” “Fundamentally speaking, human rights violations have been 14 years old, and now it’s time to stop.”

Charges and extradition

Diab was accused by the authorities of participating in the 1980 Rue Copernic bombing, killing 4 people and wounding more than 40 people.

The 67-year-old University of Ottawa lecturer was arrested by the RCMP in November 2008 and placed on strict bail conditions until he was extradited to France in 2014. Before the case against him fell through, he served more than three years in prison in France.

After two French judges ruled that the evidence against him was insufficient to stand trial, he was released in January 2018. He has never been formally prosecuted.

Watch: Hassan Diab ordered for terrorism trial three years after his release

The French Court of Appeal has ordered a new terrorism trial against Canadian scholar Hassan Diab, who was charged in the 1980 bombing near the Paris Synagogue. Diab was indicted in 2008, but was released in 2018 due to lack of evidence. 2:07

French prosecutors immediately appealed Diab’s release-long after the French experts themselves denied the last remaining physical evidence linking Diab to the bombing.

As prosecutors seek to find new evidence against Diab and the pandemic has delayed court proceedings, the case has progressed slowly.

Evidence of bad reputation

The main physical evidence for Canada’s extradition of Diab to France is handwriting analysis, which links Diab’s handwriting with that of the suspicious bomber. At the extradition hearing, Canadian government lawyers acting on behalf of France called him a “smoking gun.”

But in 2009, Diab’s legal team submitted an opposite report from four international handwriting experts. These experts questioned the methods and conclusions of the French experts. They also proved that some of the handwriting samples used by French analysts did not belong to Diab, but his ex-wife.

When the French investigating judge ordered Diab’s release in January 2018, the handwriting evidence was unreliable.

On October 3, 1980, a bomb attack occurred at the Paris Synagogue, killing 4 people. Firefighters stood beside the wreckage of cars and motorcycles. (AFP/Getty Images)

However, while considering the appeal of Diab’s release, another judge ordered an independent review of the disputed handwritten evidence.

Diab’s lawyer said that this latest commentary “reflects severe criticism and accusations” of the original handwriting analysis.[s] At the extradition hearing ten years ago, the Ministry of Defense made criticisms. “

Byrne said: “The only new evidence is further evidence of innocence-confirming the innocence of Dr. Diab.”

“A weak case”

The Canadian judge who ordered Diab’s preliminary extradition described the case against him as a “weakness” and said that “the possibility of conviction in the context of a fair trial seems very small.”

The French investigating judge who released Diab also found that he had no suspicion in the Paris bombing. According to university records and interviews with Diab’s classmates, when a bomb attack occurred outside the synagogue, the investigating judge determined that he “may be in Lebanon” for a written test.

They wrote: “Hassan Diab (Hassan Diab) was likely to be in Lebanon from September to October 1980… Therefore, he could not be that person… and then on October 3, 1980 The bomb was placed on Copernicus Street.”

In 2018, CBC News confirmed France knew and did not disclose fingerprint evidence, which ultimately played a key role in Diab’s release.

When Diab was released from a French prison in 2018, the French judge pointed out that there were no matching fingerprints on the hotel form or any other evidence provided by France, which “is undoubtedly the basic element of discharge.”

French officials did not share evidence of fingerprint comparisons with their Canadian counterparts. Court documents show that, in fact, French prosecutors denied that the evidence even exists.

Diab seeks $90 million in funding from the federal government

Since his release, Diab has been living with his wife and two children. He has resumed his job as a part-time lecturer.

Diab filed a claim last year, asking the Canadian federal government to provide him with US$90 million in compensation for the role that Canada played in extraditing him to France.

The centerpiece of this statement lies in the following facts: As CBC News first reported in 2018 —When the case against Diab seemed to break down, lawyers from the Ministry of Justice helped France strengthen the evidence.

The former Deputy Attorney General of Ontario, Murray Segal, reviewed Diab’s case under government order and concluded that the government lawyers took ethical actions and extradited Diab to France.

Diab accused the federal government of hiring Segal for review instead of appointing judges to conduct public investigations to subpoena evidence and cross-examine witnesses, thus constituting “whitewashing.”

At today’s press conference, Diab’s supporters once again called on the federal government to refuse extradition.

Tim McSorley of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group said: “We call on Prime Minister Trudeau to show his French counterparts with the strongest attitude that the hunt for Hassan Diab must be ended.”

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