Canada said on Tuesday that any new request for the extradition of Lebanese-Canadian scholar Hassan Diab to France following a deadly bombardment in Paris 40 years ago would be given due consideration.
The 67-year-old is the sole suspect in the October 3, 1980 attack on a synagogue in Paris that killed four people and injured 46.
He was extradited to France in 2014, but released in 2018 after French magistrates ruled that the evidence against him was “not convincing enough” to detain him.
Diab supporters have called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to intervene to prevent the “unjust prosecution of an innocent man,” recalling the Canadian leader’s past remarks that Diab should never have been extradited in the first place.
Asked about his attitude if there was a new push for a prosecution, Trudeau said at a press conference: “If we receive an extradition request from France, we will of course analyze it with all the rigor. that Canadians expect from us. “
Former University of Ottawa sociology professor Diab spent nine years in prison or on strict bail conditions in both countries, battling allegations of involvement in the first deadly attack against Jews in France since the Nazi occupation.
In an astonishing about-face in January 2021, the Paris Court of Appeal overturned the decision to close the case and ordered it to stand trial.
Diab took his case to the highest court in France, which last Wednesday confirmed the decision not to close the case.
Canada’s Justice Department said it would be “inappropriate to speculate on possible requests for Dr. Diab’s extradition to France.”
If a request were made, Canadian justice officials would have to authorize a new extradition hearing before a superior court judge, whose decision would then be submitted to Justice Minister David Lametti for a final decision.
© 2021 AFP