France - Canada - Middle East

Lebanese-Canadian charged with 1980 Paris synagogue bombing

Hassan Diab in Ottowa in 2011.
Hassan Diab in Ottowa in 2011. Reuters/Chris Wattie

The Canadian academic accused of the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue has been charged in France after being deported from Montreal. Hassan Diab, a 60-year-old former sociology professor of Lebanese origin, has been charged with murder, attempted murder and destruction of property with and explosive device.

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"My client maintains his innocence," said Diab’s French lawyer Stéphane Bonifassi after his client was charged on Saturday. “We will continue the fight started in Canada so that his innocence is established."

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French anti-terror judge Marc Trevidic, who issued the international warrant for Diab’s alleged involvement in the bombing in Paris’s rue Copernic 34 years ago, charged him and he then appeared before another judge, who remanded him in custody.

Diab lost a six-year battle not to be sent to face trial in France when Canada’s supreme court refused to hear his final plea against extradition.

Saying that the bombing was the first terror attack on Jews since World War II, Roger Cukierman of the Council of Jewish Institutions in France welcomed the prosecution.

“The fact that this act had gone unpunished was very distressing,” he said.

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