Canada To Extradite Suspected Synagogue Arsonist to France

Court Upheld Extradition Order for Professor

By JTA

Published May 16, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A Canadian court upheld a ruling ordering the extradition of an Ottawa professor to France, where he is suspected of taking part in a 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue that killed four people.

In a decision Thursday, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s 2011 finding that Hassan Diab should be handed over to French authorities. The appeal court found that the lower court and Canada’s justice minister made no legal errors in concluding that Diab should be returned to France.

French authorities allege Diab, 60, a sociology professor in Ottawa, was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which made and planted a bomb that killed four people and injured more than 40 on Oct. 3, 1980, outside the Rue Copernic synagogue in Paris.

At a news conference in Ottawa, a supporter read a statement written by Diab. “It is with great shock that I learned that the Court of Appeal upheld my extradition order on the sole basis of a discredited handwriting analysis report,” Diab wrote. “… Such a decision means that any Canadian citizen can be detained, uprooted and extradited based on deeply flawed evidence that a foreign state submits.

“I neither participated in, nor had any knowledge of this heinous crime,” Diab wrote in his statement. “I have always opposed anti-Semitism, discrimination and violence. I am innocent of the accusations against me.”

His lawyer, Don Bayne, said he will file an appeal with Canada’s Supreme Court.

Bayne said a handwriting analysis submitted as evidence is “ludicrous” and “manifestly unreliable,” that fingerprints from the scene do not match Diab’s, and that a description of the suspect was of a middle-aged man while Diab was in his 20s at the time.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested Diab, a Canadian of Lebanese descent, in late 2008 in response to a request by France.

In a statement, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs said the the upholding of the extradition order “does not assume Diab’s culpability. Diab will be able to defend himself before France’s judicial system, which is just as impartial as Canada’s.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • "I feel great sorrow about the fact that you decided to return the honor and recognition that you so greatly deserve." Rivka Ben-Pazi, who got Dutchman Henk Zanoli recognized as a "Righteous Gentile," has written him an open letter.
  • Is there a right way to criticize Israel?
  • From The Daily Show to Lizzy Caplan, here's your Who's Jew guide to the 2014 #Emmys. Who are you rooting for?
  • “People at archives like Yad Vashem used to consider genealogists old ladies in tennis shoes. But they have been impressed with our work on indexing documents. Now they are lining up to work with us." This year's Jewish Genealogical Societies conference took place in Utah. We got a behind-the-scenes look:
  • What would Maimonides say about Warby Parker's buy-one, give-one charity model?
  • For 22 years, Seeds of Peace has fostered dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian teens in an idyllic camp. But with Israel at war in Gaza, this summer was different. http://jd.fo/p57AB
  • J.J. Goldberg doesn't usually respond to his critics. But this time, he just had to make an exception.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.