Ottawa

Hassan Diab extradited to France early this morning

An Ottawa university instructor who is a suspect in a deadly Paris bombing was extradited to France early this morning after the Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal on Thursday.

Diab extradited after Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal Thursday

Hassan Diab was extradited to France early Friday morning. (Patrick Doyle/Canadian Press)
An Ottawa university instructor who is a suspect in a deadly Paris bombing was extradited to France early this morning after the Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal on Thursday.

Hassan Diab's lawyer, Donald Bayne, confirmed the news Friday. Bayne said Diab didn't get a chance to see his family before he left.

"We were trying to arrange, in the early morning, a visit for Dr. Diab's wife and child before he was taken away, and the jail replied that he had been in fact picked up at 5:30 a.m.," Bayne said.

"So he has not, since the decision yesterday, had even a visit with his wife or child. ... You can imagine; she's beside herself with grief."

Bayne said that "in fairness to France," they appeared to want to move forward with the case as soon as possible after years of moving through the Canadian legal system.

"It's clear from the nature of the case they presented ... that as bad as the case was, they are not going to give up. So I think they are very determined to bring him to France," he said, adding that it's common for prisoners to be transferred without notice.

"I think there are ... legitimate security reasons that they don't announce when prisoners are travelling, and you have to respect that," Bayne said.

Appeal dismissed without costs

The country's top court refused to hear the application and dismissed Hassan Diab's appeal without costs on Thursday. As is usual in applications for leave to appeal, the court did not give reasons for its decision.

French authorities allege Diab was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. They also claim he took part in the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue that killed four people and injured more than 40 others.

Diab, a Canadian citizen, has repeatedly denied the allegations. He and his legal team appealed an extradition order over what they describe as crucial questions about the use of untested intelligence in a criminal prosecution.

In arguments filed with the Supreme Court, lawyers for the sociology instructor said France's reliance on secret information raises fundamental issues of constitutionality and procedural fairness.

'It is beyond devastating,' Diab writes

In a statement read by a supporter during a news conference Thursday afternoon, Diab wrote: "It is beyond devastating that the Supreme Court would allow my extradition for a crime that I did not commit, and based on a handwriting analysis report that was shown by world-renowned handwriting experts to be wholly unreliable, totally erroneous and biased.

"I vow to never give up, and I will always remain hopeful that I will eventually return to my home in Canada and be reunited with my wife and children," Diab wrote.

Bayne called the top court's decision "profoundly disappointing."

"Unfortunately, in this case, we now have, in my view, a classic recipe for the wrongful conviction of a Canadian," Bayne said. "This could never meet Canadian constitutional standards for criminal trial, yet we're sending a Canadian to such a Kafkaesque trial, where he can't possible meet the standards of knowing the case against him and making and having a real and meaningful opportunity to answer that case."

now