French Investigative Judge Finds “Consistent Evidence” Supporting Hassan Diab’s Innocence

In a highly positive development for Dr. Hassan Diab, a French investigative judge (juge d’instruction) found “consistent evidence” supporting Hassan’s innocence. Hassan has been in pre-trial detention in France since he was extradited from Canada two years ago today for investigation into a 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue.

“At this stage of the inquiry, there exists consistent evidence tending to establish that Hassan Diab was in Beirut late September, early October 1980… this calls into question information implicating him in the attack since this relies on his presence in France during this period”, wrote the French investigative judge in an order released on October 27, 2016.

The judge immediately ordered the release of Dr. Diab on bail. He issued a second order on the same day stating that there are no grounds for further detention of Hassan.

But, in a deeply disappointing move, the prosecutor blocked Hassan’s release, and the Court of Appeal overruled the investigative judge’s orders and renewed Hassan’s detention. Hassan’s lawyers filed an appeal to France’s Court of Cassation.

William Bourdon, Hassan’s lawyer in France, noted that “Hassan Diab’s situation is unprecedented. New consistent evidence of his innocence was collected but the Court of Appeal refused, for the 4th time, to release him, even though the investigative judge decided so. After 36 years and since no one else was indicted, the Court of Appeal is clinging on to Hassan Diab. He is detained because of the judges’ fear to be accused of laxity in the context of today’s fight against terrorism in France. Such a situation would be inconceivable in an ordinary-law procedure.”

Earlier this year, in May 2016, Hassan was ordered released on bail by the investigative judge and the judge of freedom and detention. He spent ten days out on bail in Paris before his release order was overturned by the same panel of Court of Appeal judges which has repeatedly denied him bail.

Don Bayne, Hassan’s lawyer in Canada, commented on the significant development stating that “Dr. Diab’s case is a tragic example of the serious flaws in Canada’s extradition laws and practices. The courts in Canada at every level failed the basic test of fundamental justice that the evidence on which the foreign state relies to deprive a Canadian of his or her liberty be ‘reliable’. The evidence in Dr. Diab’s case was shown to be so unreliable (flawed handwriting comparisons said to be worthless by the world’s leading handwriting experts, plus secret intelligence which is not evidence at all) that this innocent Canadian never should have been extradited. Yet he was, and despite even more evidence of Dr. Diab’s innocence, he remains locked up in a French prison on a path to a manifestly wrongful conviction.”

Hassan was extradited from Canada based on extremely contested and weak evidence. Justice Maranger, the Canadian extradition judge, stated that “the prospects of conviction in the context of a fair trial seem unlikely”, but said his interpretation of Canada’s extradition law left him no choice but to commit Hassan to extradition.

Michael Vonn, Policy Director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, one of the interveners during the appeal of Hassan’s extradition at the Court of Appeal for Ontario, remarked on two years of pretrial detention for Hassan, saying “The Government of Canada must act to raise Mr. Diab’s case with the French authorities. We have the gravest concern that this case represents a profound miscarriage of justice and the time to act is long overdue.”

Sukanya Pillay, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, another intervener on Hassan’s side at the Court of Appeal for Ontario, expressed concern that, “Mr. Diab has spent two years already in a French prison, was extradited on the basis of what appeared to be manifestly unreliable evidence, and has accordingly experienced a deprivation of fair process and an injustice to him and his family.”

See articles:

Two Years in a French Prison
The Extradition of an Innocent Canadian: Hassan Diab

Come learn about the case of Dr. Hassan Diab, a Carleton University professor who was extradited from Canada to France where he faces the prospect of a wrongful conviction. A screening of the short documentary “Rubber Stamped: The Hassan Diab Story” will be followed by a discussion with three of Hassan’s colleagues from Carleton University.

What: “Rubber Stamped: The Hassan Diab Story”, followed by discussion
When: Friday November 11, 2016, 6:00 PM
Where: Carleton University, Minto Centre 5050, Ottawa — Map

The event is free and open to the public. The space is wheelchair accessible. Light refreshments will be provided.

For parking, see: http://carleton.ca/parking/wp-content/uploads/parking-map-2015.pdf. On this map the Minto Centre is building 27, and is located adjacent to a bus stop and across from the O-Train station.

This event is sponsored by OPIRG-Carleton, the Criminalization and Punishment Education Project, the Department of Anthropology/Sociology, the Department of Law and Legal Studies and the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Hassan Diab is a Canadian citizen and Carleton University professor who lived in Ottawa, Canada. He was extradited to France on November 14, 2014, in connection with the 1980 rue Copernic synagogue bombing in Paris.

The Canadian extradition judge described the evidence that the French authorities submitted as “very problematic” and “suspect”, and stated that “the prospects of conviction in the context of a fair trial seem unlikely”. Still, the judge said that he felt obliged under Canada’s extradition law to commit Hassan to extradition. As a result, Hassan may be wrongfully convicted under France’s anti-terrorism laws, based on deeply flawed handwriting analysis and the use of secret, unsourced intelligence.

753 days in pretrial detention –
How long before an innocent man is freed?


Join the Bring Hassan Home Campaign by signing the following statement.

“Dr. Hassan Diab was extradited from Canada to France based on a handwriting analysis report that the Canadian extradition judge described as “convoluted, very confusing, with conclusions that are suspect”. Hassan is now incarcerated in a French prison where he may remain for two or more years while the French authorities decide whether to bring him to trial. I am deeply concerned that Hassan may be wrongfully convicted under France’s anti-terrorism laws, based on deeply flawed handwriting analysis and the use of secret, unsourced intelligence. Hassan must receive a fair process, so he has a real chance to fight for justice and return to his home in Canada. We must make sure that the real perpetrators of the rue Copernic crime are brought to justice. Making an innocent man pay for a crime he did not commit will only further the tragedy.”

To sign the above statement, please fill out the form at:
http://www.justiceforhassandiab.org/bring-hassan-home


Also, please write to Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Stéphane Dion, and Minister of Justice, Ms. Jody Wilson-Raybould, urging them to speak with their French counterparts about bringing Hassan home. A sample letter is available at http://www.justiceforhassandiab.org/help (look under “WRITE”).


“Rubber Stamped:
The Hassan Diab Story”

Waiting_for_Daddy
“Recipe for a wrongful conviction: The extradition of an innocent man – Hassan Diab”

Don’t miss a preview of the short documentary on Dr. Hassan Diab, “Rubber Stamped: The Hassan Diab Story”.

What: Preview of “Rubber Stamped: The Hassan Diab Story”, a short documentary on Dr. Hassan Diab — Trailer
Place: Beit Zatoun Cultural Centre, 612 Markham Street, Toronto — Map
Date: Friday, September 30, 2016
Time: 7:00 pm (Doors open at 6:45 pm)
Admission: Free

Guest Speakers:

  • Amar Wala, award-winning filmmaker and director of “Rubber Stamped: The Hassan Diab Story”
  • Barbara Jackman, renowned human rights lawyer

Please come out, watch the short documentary, and hear our guest speakers talk about the documentary and Canada’s unjust Extradition Law. Q&A will follow.

There will be refreshments, plenty of yummy finger foods, music, raffle items, and more!

Sponsored by:

  • Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)
  • Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA)
  • Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1281
  • Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice (CUSJ)
  • Independent Jewish Voices Canada
  • Independent Jewish Voices – Toronto
  • Peace and Social Concerns – Ottawa Quakers
  • Toronto Action for Social Change (TASC)
  • United Jewish People’s Order (UJPO)

Hassan Diab is a Canadian citizen and Carleton University professor who lived in Ottawa. He was extradited to France on November 14, 2014, in connection with the 1980 Rue Copernic bombing in Paris.

The Canadian extradition judge described the evidence that the French authorities submitted as “very problematic” and “suspect”, and stated that “the prospects of conviction in the context of a fair trial seem unlikely”. However, the judge said that he felt obliged under Canada’s extradition law to commit Hassan to extradition.

Hassan has strongly condemned the attack and steadfastly maintained his innocence. He has been in prison near Paris for almost two years.

Mr. Don Bayne, Hassan’s lawyer in Canada, has stated: “We now have the classic recipe for the wrongful conviction of a Canadian citizen”.


Some links of interest:


Hassan Diab Support Committee
Email: diabsupport@gmail.com
Facebook | Twitter

BCCLA Letter to Canadian Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Justice

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) wrote a letter the Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Honourable Stéphane Dion, and the Minister of Justice,
The Honorable Jody Wilson-Raybould, urging them to intervene in the case of Dr. Hassan Diab.

“[W]e join many other Canadians in writing to you at this time to ask you to raise Dr. Diab’s case with the French authorities at the
earliest possible opportunity. We believe that the use of the deeply flawed and unreliable evidence against Dr. Diab cannot constitute a
fair legal process and that the Government of Canada must act to protect the fundamental rights that are at stake in this matter.”

Click here to read the full BCCLA letter to the Ministers.