|| “False Accusations, Questionable Forensic Evidence, Wrongful Conviction”
|| Saturday, February 7, 2015
|| 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
|| River Building 2200, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – Map
Guest Speakers :
• Jamie Nelson (Wrongfully Convicted)
• Don Bayne (Lawyer Representing Hassan Diab)
• Peter Gose (Hassan Diab Support Committee)
Sponsored By: Department of Law & Legal Studies Criminalization and Punishment Education Project (CPEP)
ADMISSION IS FREE (Donations are welcome for the Wrongful Convictions and Injustice Association of Carleton)
Whisked away from Ottawa before dawn with no chance to say farewell to his pregnant wife and 2-year old daughter, Dr. Hassan Diab remains in detention in the Paris vicinity. A French investigating magistrate placed Dr. Diab under judicial investigation (mis en examen) upon Hassan’s arrival in France. Dr. Diab can expect to be held in detention for nearly 2 years while waiting for the magistrate to conclude his investigation and decide whether or not to put him on trial.
Upon learning of the Canadian Supreme Court’s decision not to hear Hassan’s final appeal, Diab’s lawyer Donald Bayne, said “We now have the classic recipe for the wrongful conviction of a Canadian citizen.”
Speaking of the unexpected swiftness with which Canada removed Dr. Diab, supporter Donald Pratt said, “This action by the Canadian government is inhumane to the point of cruel and unusual. This is not about Canada’s authority to do what it has done. This is about failing to respect standards of human decency.”
Hassan was extradited based on a discredited handwriting analysis report that was described by the Canadian extradition judge as “convoluted, very confusing, with conclusions that are suspect.” Extradition legal expert Dr. Gary Botting asked “How can you give any credence to anything that’s one sentence long and hang a guy with it?”
Jacqueline Hodgson, a law professor at the University of Warwick, said: “The case of Hassan Diab, a 60-year-old sociology professor who has been extradited to France, is a troubling one… The evidence against him hinges firstly on unsourced intelligence that would be inadmissible in a criminal court in England and Wales (reliability cannot be tested if the source of information and the manner in which it was obtained are unknown); and secondly on the opinion of a handwriting expert described as wholly unreliable by five of the world’s leading handwriting analysts.”
Hassan Diab is represented by French lawyer Stéphane Bonifassi. Speaking to the Canadian press, Mr. Bonifassi said, “Hassan is in good spirits and I would say in combative spirits. We will fight the accusations, and hopefully the fact that there is no evidence against my client will prevail and he will be set free.”
Hassan Diab Support Committee
Today, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Dr. Hassan Diab’s application for Leave to Appeal. Hassan, his family, and supporters are disappointed and dismayed by the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear his case, and to address the issues of serious public importance at stake. In response to the Supreme Court’s decision, Dr. Diab issued the following statement.
Statement by Hassan Diab
November 13, 2014
I am deeply shocked that the Supreme Court of Canada refused to even hear the appeal in my case. This is a very sad day for me, my family and supporters, and the state of extradition law in Canada. I had hoped for justice from the Canadian legal system.
I have been living a Kafkaesque nightmare for over six years, fighting false allegations against me, enduring detention, strict bail conditions, the loss of my employment, and enormous stress on my family. It is beyond devastating that the Supreme Court of Canada 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.
It is shocking that this would happen in Canada, despite the numerous commissions on wrongful convictions based on faulty forensic evidence and the Court’s vow to never let this happen again.
I, my family, friends, and supporters, will continue to fight the false allegations that have been imposed on me, a Canadian citizen who is law-abiding, peaceful, compassionate, and who abhors violence.
I am grateful and heartened by the outpouring of support from thousands of individuals and organizations that recognize the injustice that I have experienced and the unfairness of Canada’s extradition law. I am also deeply thankful to my devoted lawyers who tirelessly worked on my behalf for years.
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.
Dear Friends and Supporters,
On Thursday, November 13, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada will announce its decision on whether to grant leave to appeal in the extradition case of Dr. Hassan Diab. We are calling on supporters like you to come out and show your support.
Please join us for a rally at the Supreme Court of Canada on the day of the decision.
||Rally to support reform of Canada’s extradition law and justice for Hassan
||Supreme Court of Canada, 301 Wellington Street, Ottawa — Map
||Thursday November 13, 2014
||Meet at 9:15 am sharp. We will wait for the decision which is expected to come out at around 9:30 am.
The Supreme Court represents Hassan’s last real chance for justice in Canada. If leave is granted, the case would be heard by the Supreme Court sometime in 2015. If leave is not granted, the government would extradite Hassan to France soon after the decision, where he would be incarcerated while the French authorities decide whether or not to put him on trial.
France’s anti-terrorism courts allow convictions based on secret information that is inadmissible in Canadian criminal trials. In Hassan’s case, France is also relying on a handwriting analysis report that has been thoroughly discredited by five leading handwriting experts. A trial conducted in these circumstances offends principles of fundamental justice and condemns an innocent man.
Please bring banners and signs calling for stopping Hassan’s extradition and reforming Canada’s extradition law. We are grateful for the support you have shown Hassan and his family since the beginning, and we look forward to seeing you on Thursday morning.
See: Background information
Hassan Diab Support Committee