Hassan Diab is a former sociology professor at the University of Ottawa. In 2008, France requested from Canada Dr. Diab’s extradition for his alleged involvement in the 1980 Paris synagogue bombing.
In June 2011, after a lengthy extradition hearing, the judge presiding over Dr. Diab’s extradition hearing described the evidence as “illogical”, “very problematic” and “convoluted, very confusing, with conclusions that are suspect.” The judge nevertheless held that his interpretation of Canada’s extradition law left him no choice but to extradite Dr. Diab to France.
Three years ago, Dr. Diab was extradited to France by the Harper government. He continues to languish in a French prison. Since then, four French anti-terrorism judges have gathered testimony from several witnesses that Dr. Diab was in Lebanon at the time of the bombing. They have also obtained university records which show that Dr. Diab wrote and passed exams in Beirut then and that he couldn’t have been in Paris at the time of the crime.
French anti-terrorism judges have ordered Dr. Diab’s conditional release under electronic surveillance eight times, only to have their orders challenged by the prosecutor and overturned by an appeal court on every occasion.
On the 3-year anniversary of Dr. Diab’s extradition to France, I spoke with Dr. Diab’s lawyer, Donald Bayne, about his client’s Kafkaesque ordeal. My interview of Mr. Bayne can be seen here: