Canadian scholar Hassan Diab (Hassan Diab) ordered to stand trial in French terrorism case
The French Supreme Court rejected Hassan Diab’s appeal and ordered Ottawa scholars to try the bombing outside the Paris Synagogue 40 years ago.
Diab’s wife Rania Tfaily said in an interview with CBC News that the French Supreme Court rejected their appeal in a written ruling this morning.
In January, the French Court of Appeal overturned a lower court ruling that led to the release of 67-year-old Diab for lack of evidence.
Diab’s release was opposed by more than 20 civil society groups in France, including victims of terrorist groups and pro-Israel groups.
But the French Minister of Justice, a senior legal official who provided advice in the French legal system, supported Diab’s defense team at the hearing and advocated his release.
Diab’s Canadian lawyer Don Bayne said Wednesday’s decision was unexplainable.
He said in a statement: “Although there is clear evidence that Hassan is not guilty, judicial hardship continues.”
“This shows how political pressure can overwhelm justice. We call on Prime Minister Trudeau to put an end to this misjudgment of justice.”
Charges and extradition
A lecturer at the University of Ottawa was accused by the authorities of participating in the 1980 Copernicus Street bombing, killing four people and wounding more than forty others.
He was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in November 2008 and was 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.
French prosecutors immediately appealed Diab’s release-after the French experts themselves denied the last remaining physical evidence linking Diab to the bombing, they continued to pursue Diab’s release.
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, linking Diab’s handwriting to 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.
While considering the appeal of Diab’s release, another French 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. “
French judge said Diab had an alibi
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) is likely to be in Lebanon between September and October 1980… Therefore, he cannot be that person… 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.
Since his release, Diab has been living in Ottawa with his wife and two children. He has resumed his job as a part-time lecturer.