Thursday, November 13, 2014

Canada to Extradite Hassan Diab, a Suspect in Deadly Paris Synagogue Bombing

Hassan Diab
(INN) Canada's top court refused Thursday to hear a university professor's final plea to halt his extradition to France, effectively ensuring he will face trial for the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue.

The decision brings to an end 60-year-old Hassan Diab's six-year legal battle to avoid what he said would be an unfair prosecution in France for a crime he insists he did not commit.

The Supreme Court of Canada issued its decision in a on-line statement, saying his appeal of a lower court ruling and the government's extradition order was "dismissed without costs."

Diab, who was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon pending the announcement, could now be flown to France at any time.

A spokeswoman for Canada's justice department said it has 45 days to surrender Diab, and is arranging his travel with French authorities.

French sources told AFP a police escort would arrive in Ottawa soon to bring Diab to Paris, where he will be questioned by an investigating judge before criminal proceedings can begin.

If he is convicted, Diab, a sociologist, could face life in prison.

Outside the Supreme Court, meanwhile, Diab's supporters held a rally, chanting: "Shame! Shame!"

Dozens, including American activist Noam Chomsky and former Canadian solicitor general Warren Allmand, had pressed Ottawa to stop the extradition.

The 1980 bombing on the narrow Copernic Street was the first fatal attack against the French Jewish community since the Nazi occupation in World War II.

Explosives packed in the saddlebags of a motorcycle parked on the street were detonated as worshippers were starting to exit the synagogue.

The blast killed three Frenchmen and a young Israeli woman. Forty were injured.

Diab was arrested at his home in an Ottawa suburb in November 2008 at the request of French authorities who alleged he was a member of the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine, based on a tip.