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!
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • 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.