Canada would consider extradition in Paris bombing case: Trudeau

Ottawa (AFP) –


Canada said Tuesday any new request to extradite Lebanese-Canadian academic Hassan Diab to France over a deadly bombing in Paris 40 years ago would be given due consideration.

The 67-year-old is the only 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 evidence against him was "not convincing enough" to hold him.

Diab's 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 were a renewed push for a prosecution, Trudeau told a press conference: "If we receive an extradition request from France, we will of course analyze it with the full rigor that Canadians expect us to."

Former University of Ottawa sociology professor Diab spent nine years in jail or under strict bail conditions in the two countries, fighting claims of involvement in the first deadly attack on Jews in France since the Nazi occupation.

In a stunning about-turn in January 2021, the Paris appeals court overturned the decision to dismiss the case and ordered he stand trial.

Diab took his case to France's highest court, which last Wednesday upheld the ruling not to dismiss the case.

Canada's justice department said it would be "inappropriate to speculate on any potential requests for extradition of Dr. Diab to France."

Should a request be made, Canadian justice officials would need to authorize a new extradition hearing before a superior court judge, whose ruling would then be put to Justice Minister David Lametti for a final decision.