France’s court docket of enchantment will determine at the moment whether or not Canadian educational Hassan Diab goes on trial in reference to a 40-year-old bombing assault exterior a Paris synagogue — three years after a decrease court docket set him free attributable to an absence of proof.
Diab, a 67-year-old Ottawa college lecturer, was accused by authorities of involvement within the 1980 Rue Copernic bombing, which killed 4 individuals and injured greater than 40.
Diab was arrested by the RCMP in November 2008 and positioned underneath strict bail circumstances till he was extradited to France in 2014. He spent greater than three years in jail in France earlier than the case towards him collapsed.
“My life has been turned the wrong way up due to unfounded allegations and suspicions. I’m harmless of the accusations towards me,” Diab mentioned in a media assertion. “I’ve by no means participated in any terrorist assaults. I’m not an anti-Semite.”
Diab was launched in January 2018 after two French judges dominated the proof towards him wasn’t sturdy sufficient to take to trial. He was by no means formally charged.
French prosecutors appealed Diab’s launch promptly — pursuing it lengthy after the final remaining piece of bodily proof linking Diab to the bombing had been discredited by France’s personal specialists.
The case moved slowly as prosecutors sought to seek out new proof towards Diab, and as court docket proceedings had been delayed by the pandemic.
The important thing bodily proof Canada relied on in extraditing Diab to France was handwriting evaluation linking Diab’s handwriting to that of the suspected bomber. Canadian authorities attorneys performing on France’s behalf known as it a “smoking gun” within the extradition listening to.
However in 2009, Diab’s authorized workforce produced opposite reviews from 4 worldwide handwriting specialists. These specialists questioned the strategies and conclusions of the French specialists. In addition they proved that a few of the handwriting samples utilized by the French analysts belonged to not Diab however to his ex-wife.
French investigative judges dismissed the handwriting proof as unreliable once they ordered Diab’s launch in January 2018.
However whereas contemplating the enchantment of Diab’s launch, one other decide ordered an impartial evaluation of the contentious handwriting proof.
Diab’s attorneys say this newest evaluation delivered “a scathing critique and rebuke” of the unique handwriting evaluation “that mirror[s] the critique by the defence in the course of the extradition listening to 10 years in the past.”
‘A weak case’
Even the Canadian decide who ordered Diab’s extradition described the case towards him as “weak” and mentioned “the prospects of conviction within the context of a good trial appear unlikely.”
The French investigative judges who launched Diab additionally discovered he had an alibi for the day of the Paris bombing. Utilizing college information and interviews with Diab’s classmates, the investigative judges decided he was “most likely in Lebanon” writing exams when the bombing exterior the synagogue occurred.
“It’s possible that Hassan Diab was in Lebanon throughout September and October 1980 … and it’s subsequently unlikely that he’s the person … who then laid the bomb on Rue Copernic on October third, 1980,” they wrote.
In 2018, CBC Information confirmed that France was conscious of — and had didn’t disclose — fingerprint proof that ended up taking part in a vital position in Diab’s launch.
When Diab was lastly launched from a French jail in 2018, French judges cited the absence of matching fingerprints on a lodge type — and on any of the opposite proof introduced by France — as “unquestionably a necessary ingredient of discharge.”
French officers didn’t share fingerprint comparability proof of their possession with their Canadian counterparts. Court docket paperwork present that, in reality, French prosecutors denied the proof even existed.
Diab looking for $90 million from federal authorities
Since his launch, Diab has been dwelling along with his spouse and two kids. He has resumed work as a part-time lecturer.
Diab filed an announcement of declare final 12 months looking for $90 million from the federal authorities over the position Canada performed in his extradition to France.
Central to that assertion of declare is the truth that — as CBC Information first reported in 2018 — Division of Justice attorneys helped France strengthen its proof when the case towards Diab gave the impression to be falling aside.
A government-ordered evaluation of Diab’s case by former deputy legal professional basic of Ontario Murray Segal concluded that authorities attorneys acted ethically and adopted correct procedures in extraditing Diab to France.
Diab accused the federal authorities of perpetrating a “whitewash” by hiring Segal to carry out the evaluation as a substitute of appointing a decide to carry a public inquiry with full energy to subpoena proof and cross-examine witnesses.