Paris synagogue bomber's extradition approved

Hassan Diab may be sent from Canada to France to face murder charges for 1980 explosion at Copernic Street Synagogue; he claims innocence.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
June 7, 2011 09:45
1 minute read.
Hassan Diab

Hassan Diab 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The extradition order for Hassan Diab, the Lebanese-born Canadian professor accused of a deadly 1980 bombing outside of a synagogue in Paris, was approved on Monday.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Maranger signed the order, which makes it possible for Diab to be transferred to France and tried for murder. The judge cited Canda's extradition treaty with France, but also noted that France has a "weak case" against the 57-year-old and the chances of conviction are low.

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Diab has always proclaimed his innocence and sworn that the bombing is a case of mistaken identity. Stamps in his passport, his lawyers assert, prove that he was not in France at the time of the deadly explosion, which killed people on the eve of Succot outside of Paris's Copernic Street Synagogue. Investigators claim that his handwriting appears on a hotel registration card, but his defense team have vigorously denied this fact.

The bomb at Copernic Street Synagogue detonated just before the building was set to fill with worshippers. Had it exploded thirty minutes later, it would likely have been a massacre.

Following the ruling, Diab issued a statement via his lawyer, René Duval, saying he was not guilty and would appeal. "I am innocent of the charges against me," Diab said. "I will take every legal opportunity to clear my name and I look forward to the day in which I can reclaim my life."



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