Canadian man could be extradited to France soon

AP News
Posted: Nov 13, 2014 11:35 AM

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — A Canadian man facing extradition to France in connection with a 1980 Paris synagogue bombing that killed four people could be extradited within days after the Supreme Court of Canada announced Thursday it will not hear his case.

Clarissa Lamb, a spokeswoman for Canada's justice minister, said Hassan Diab, a 60-year-old Canadian of Lebanese descent, is subject to immediate removal and the government has 45 days to do it.

The high court did not release reasons for the decision as is customary. The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled earlier this year a lower-court judge and the federal justice minister made no legal errors in concluding Diab should be handed to French authorities.

Canadian police arrested Diab in 2008 in response to a request from France, where he is wanted on charges of murder and attempted murder in the Oct. 3, 1980 bombing.

The bomb, hidden in the saddlebags of a parked motorcycle, exploded outside a Parisian synagogue during a Sabbath service, killing three French men and one Israeli woman. About 200,000 people later marched through the streets of Paris to protest the attack.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-Special Operations was blamed for the bombing at the time. The investigation was reopened after Diab's name turned up on a list of former members of a Palestinian extremist group obtained by German intelligence officials.

"The anti-Semitic bombing in 1980 was a horrific crime that killed four people and injured dozens of others. Canada condemns this cowardly act of terrorism against innocent civilians," Lamb said in an email. "The judicial phase of the extradition process is a determination only that the evidence is sufficient to warrant that the person be extradited.  It is not a trial.  A trial will take place in the requesting state."

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Diab, who had been a part-time sociology professor at both Carleton University and the University of Ottawa before his arrest, has denied any role in the attack.

Stamps in Diab's 1980 passport indicated he was not in France at the time of the bombing.

Donald Pratt of the Hassan Diab Support Committee said they are "extremely disappointed." Pratt said Diab reported to a detention center Wednesday night ahead of the court decision.


AP Writer Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report