Eighth Release Order Overturned;
High-Profile Canadians Urge PM Trudeau to Bring Hassan Home

In a deeply disappointing and stunning move, the French Court of Appeal quashed – for the eighth time – a release order for Dr. Hassan Diab. Hassan has been in pre-trial detention for three years, despite overwhelming evidence of his innocence.

The French investigative judges in charge of the case found that there is “consistent evidence” that Hassan was not in France at the time of the 1980 Paris bombing outside a Paris synagogue that tragically killed four and injured dozens. Official documents as well as several witnesses confirmed that Dr. Diab was studying and taking his university exams in Lebanon at that time. Four French judges have repeatedly ordered his conditional release. However, each time the Paris prosecutor filed an appeal, and the French Court of Appeal overturned the release decision because of the climate in France.

Hassan’s lawyers in France, William Bourdon, Apolline Cagnat, and Amélie Lefebvre, remarked that “this is an absolutely exceptional situation: Four judges have decided eight times that Dr. Diab should be released. The Paris prosecutor’s obstinacy in this case is not judicial but rather political”.

Hassan’s wife, Carleton University professor Rania Tfaily, said, “Even though this was the eighth time Hassan’s release order was overturned, I was really shocked and stunned, not knowing if this was reality, whether we live in an alternate world. It’s like an alternate world where truth, evidence, logic, and rationality don’t count.”

Numerous high-profile Canadians have signed an Open Letter urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to use the full force of his office to bring Hassan home. These individuals include lawyer and former politician Bob Rae; Members of Parliament Don Davies, Elizabeth May, and Kennedy Stewart; politician and broadcaster Stephen Lewis; filmmakers Atom Egoyan, Avi Lewis, and Sarah Polley; authors Naomi Klein, Yann Martel, Monia Mazigh, and Nino Ricci.

Hassan was extradited from Canada to France in November 2014, even though the Canadian extradition judge found the evidence presented by French authorities to be “very problematic”, “illogical”, and “suspect”. The judge stated that he felt compelled under Canada’s extradition law to order Dr. Diab’s extradition.

Hassan has always maintained his innocence and strongly condemned the attack. He has a lifelong record of opposition to bigotry and discrimination, as attested by long-time friends and colleagues. He has unequivocally stated that “my life has been turned upside down because of unfounded allegations and suspicions. I am innocent of the accusations against me. I have never engaged in terrorism. I have never participated in any terrorist attacks. I am not an anti-Semite.”

Recently, Dr. Diab was informed that officials of a foreign state met with the French investigative judges in late September offering their help in getting him charged instead of freed and returned to Canada. This latest development increased serious and legitimate fears that political pressure might interfere with the investigations and jeopardize Dr. Diab’s right to fair and independent justice.

Don Bayne, Dr. Diab’s lawyer in Canada, stated that “Dr. Diab has been pleading for help from the Canadian government in his Kafkaesque situation as he remains imprisoned despite evidence of his innocence. Canada has been timid to act to aid this unjustly detained Canadian, while a foreign state is taking direct action seeking to weigh in on a procedure conducted by French judicial authorities. Canada’s voice of protest must be registered at the highest level of our government. The duty of a government is protection of its citizens. Prime Minister Trudeau must demand Dr. Diab’s freedom and return to Canada. Will the Canadian government stand idly by as the injustices in this case compound?”

Open Letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:
http://www.justiceforhassandiab.org/open-letter-to-prime-minister-trudeau-2017-10

Fourth French Judge Orders
Dr. Hassan Diab Released on Bail –
Appeal Court Decides on November 14

On November 6, a fourth French judge ordered the release of Canadian Professor Dr. Hassan Diab on bail from a Paris prison where he has been behind bars for three years. This marks the eighth release order of Dr. Diab by four different French judges; but, as on seven prior occasions, the Paris prosecutor immediately filed an appeal. Dr. Diab is set to be released on bail on November 14, unless the French Court of Appeal overturns the release decision.

Dr. Diab’s lawyers in France, William Bourdon, Apolline Cagnat, and Amélie Lefebvre, remarked that “this is an absolutely exceptional situation: Four judges have decided eight times that Dr. Diab should be released. The Paris prosecutor’s obstinacy in this case is not judicial but rather political”.

Dr. Diab was extradited from Canada to France in November 2014, even though the Canadian extradition judge found the evidence presented by French authorities to be “very problematic”, “illogical”, and “suspect”. The judge stated that he felt compelled under Canada’s extradition law to order Dr. Diab’s extradition.

Dr. Diab has been in pre-trial detention in France for three years. The investigative judges in charge of the case found that there is “consistent evidence” that Dr. Diab was not in France at the time of the 1980 Paris bombing outside a Paris synagogue that tragically killed four and injured dozens. Official documents as well as several witnesses confirmed that Dr. Diab was studying and taking his university exams in Lebanon at that time. Four French judges have repeatedly ordered his conditional release. However, the French Court of Appeal quashed all release orders following the prosecutor’s appeals, notably because of the climate in France.

On July 28, 2017, the French investigative judges issued a notice about the end of investigations in Dr. Diab’s case. However, their final decision regarding whether to release Dr. Diab or refer him to trial was delayed because the French prosecutor failed to submit arguments within one month, as stipulated in the French Criminal Procedure Code. To this day, no such submission has been filed.

Dr. Diab has strongly condemned the crime, and steadfastly maintained his innocence. He has a lifelong record of opposition to all forms of bigotry, anti-Semitism, and violence, as attested by longtime friends, colleagues, and everyone who knows him. Dr. Diab’s fingerprints, palm prints, physical description, and handwriting do not match those of the suspect. He had unequivocally stated that “my life has been turned upside down because of unfounded allegations and suspicions. I am innocent of the accusations against me. I have never engaged in terrorism. I have never participated in any terrorist attacks. I am not an anti-Semite.”

Don Bayne, Dr. Diab’s lawyer in Canada, stated that “Dr. Diab has been pleading for help from the Canadian government in his Kafkaesque situation as he remains imprisoned despite evidence of his innocence. Canada’s voice of protest must be registered at the highest level of our government. The duty of a government is protection of its citizens. Prime Minister Trudeau must demand Dr. Diab’s freedom and return to Canada. Will the Canadian government stand idly by as the injustices in this case compound?”

Hassan Diab Still in Legal Limbo as He Approaches His Fourth Year in a French Prison

Dr. Hassan Diab, the Canadian citizen and sociology professor who was unjustly extradited to France in November 2014, approaches his fourth year of imprisonment in France, despite his innocence.

In July 2017, the French investigative judge closed his investigations into the case after finding that there is “consistent evidence” that Dr. Diab was not in France at the time of the 1980 bombing near a Paris Synagogue. However, prosecutors have yet to respond despite the normal practice of defence and prosecution responding within 30-days of the closing of the investigation. Hassan’s lawyers responded within 30 days, urging Hassan’s release.

Hassan’s French lawyer, William Bourdon, noted that “though there is no legal sanction to the non-observance of the delays that apply once the investigations are finished, we are obviously very disappointed that the prosecutor does not comply with them in this case where Hassan Diab has consistently proclaimed his innocence and consistent evidence of his innocence was collected during the investigations. Hassan remains in prison in France where he has now spent almost three years despite repetitive release orders constantly overturned by the Court of Appeal.”

Hassan’s Canadian lawyer, Donald Bayne, remarked, “This is yet another manifestation of the mounting injustices that have plagued this case and victimized Dr. Diab – who is this century’s Dreyfus – for the past 8 years. Surely the great Republic of France will put an end to injustice, will listen to the investigating judge who has stated that there is consistent and corroborated evidence of Dr. Diab’s innocence.”

On September 21, MP Don Davies presented a Parliamentary petition signed by thousands of Canadians urging the Canadian government to bring Hassan home.

In addition, an Open Letter signed by hundreds of Hassan’s supporters was sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould urging them to put an end to Dr. Diab’s Kafkaesque situation.

Alex Neve, the Secretary General of Amnesty International, stated that “this further delay, attributable to the French prosecutor, is one more unconscionable injustice. At a minimum Mr. Diab must be released on bail while the case proceeds, and the Canadian government must – at senior levels – insist that it happens without any further delay.”

Dr. Diab has strongly condemned the crime, and steadfastly maintained his innocence. He has a lifelong record of opposition to all forms of bigotry, anti-Semitism, and violence, as attested by longtime friends, colleagues, and everyone who knows him. Dr. Diab’s fingerprints, palm prints, physical description, and handwriting do not match those of the suspect. Since his ordeal began in 2008, Dr. Diab has been imprisoned or under very strict bail conditions for almost nine years.

Read:

Listen:

Awaiting Decision in Dr. Diab’s Case.
Supporters Send Parliamentary Petition and Open Letter to PM Trudeau.


(Le français suit l’anglais)

PRESS RELEASE

22 September 2017, Ottawa – On July 28, 2017, the French investigative judge issued a notice about the end of investigations in Dr. Hassan Diab’s case, the Canadian citizen and sociology professor who was extradited to France in November 2014. However, the decision has been delayed as the prosecutor is yet to submit written arguments.

Mr. Don Bayne, Dr. Diab’s Canadian lawyer remarked, “According to French law, both Dr. Diab’s French lawyers and the French prosecutor have one month after the investigating judge announces the closure of the investigation to file their respective written submissions. The defence complied. The prosecutor did not. There is apparently no sanction for the prosecutor who can delay the judge’s decision whether to free Dr. Diab or subject him to a trial on secret intelligence that in Canada and most of the Western world is both unfair and unconstitutional. This is yet another manifestation of the mounting injustices that have plagued this case and victimized Dr. Diab – who is this century’s Dreyfus – for the past 8 years. Surely the great republic of France will put an end to injustice, will listen to the investigating judge who has stated that there is consistent and corroborated evidence of Dr. Diab’s innocence”.

Dr. Diab’s French lawyers, William Bourdon, Apolline Cagnat, and Amelie Lefebvre noted that “though there is no legal sanction to the non-observance of the delays that apply once the investigations are finished, we are obviously very disappointed that the prosecutor does not comply with them in this case where Hassan Diab has consistently proclaimed his innocence and consistent evidence of his innocence was collected during the investigations. Hassan remains in prison where he has now spent almost 3 years despite repetitive release orders constantly overturned by the Court of Appeal.”

Yesterday, MP Don Davies presented a Parliamentary petition that urges the Canadian government to intervene to bring Dr. Hassan Diab home. The petition was signed by thousands of Canadians and Permanent Residents.

In addition to the petition, an Open Letter signed by hundreds of Diab’s supporters was sent to Prime Minister Trudeau, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould urging them to intervene to put an end to Dr. Diab’s Kafkaesque situation.

Alex Neve, the Secretary General of Amnesty International, stated that “this further delay, attributable to the French prosecutor, is one more unconscionable injustice. At a minimum Mr. Diab must be released on bail while the case proceeds, and the Canadian government must – at senior levels – insist that it happens without any further delay.”

Background:

Dr. Diab was extradited from Canada to France in November 2014 in connection with a 1980 bombing outside a synagogue in Paris. He has been held in pre-trial detention in France since then. French investigating judges have issued six judicial orders that Dr. Diab be released on bail, stating that there is “consistent evidence” that Dr. Diab was not in France at the time of the 1980 Paris attack. However, each time the prosecutor appealed and the French Court of Appeal quashed the release orders because of the political climate in France. The Canadian extradition judge found that the evidence presented by French authorities is “suspect” and “very problematic”, yet he stated that he felt compelled under Canada’s extradition law to order Dr. Diab’s extradition. Dr. Diab has been imprisoned or under very strict bail conditions for almost nine years.


COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE

Ottawa, le 22 septembre, 2017 – Le 28 juillet, 2017 le juge d’instruction français a signifié la fin de son enquête concernant le cas du Dr. Hassan Diab, citoyen canadien, professeur de sociologie, qui fut extradé en France en novembre 2014. Cependant la décision finale est retardée parce que le Parquet n’a pas encore soumis ses arguments écrits.

Monsieur Don Bayne, l’avocat canadien du Dr. Diab, observe que « selon la loi française, les avocats français du Dr. Diab et le Parquet ont un mois après la clôture de l’enquête du juge d’instruction pour déposer leurs conclusions écrites. La défense s’est conformée à la loi, mais non le Parquet. Apparemment aucune sanction ne s’applique au Parquet, qui peut retarder la décision du juge soit de libérer le Dr. Diab, soit de l’assujettir à un procès basé sur du renseignement secret, ce qui est considéré au Canada et dans la plus grande partie du monde occidental comme à la fois injuste et anticonstitutionnel. Ceci s’ajoute à de nombreuses injustices qui depuis huit années empoisonnent le cas du Dr. Diab et en font le Dreyfus de ce siècle. Surement la grande république qu’est la France voudra mettre fin à cette injustice et écoutera le juge d’instruction selon qui il existe des éléments concordants prouvant l’innocence du Dr. Diab. »

Les avocats français du Dr. Diab, Maîtres William Bourdon, Apolline Cagnat, et Amélie Lefèbvre, déclarent que bien qu’aucune sanction légale ne s’applique lorsque les délais après la clôture de l’enquête ne sont pas respectés, ils sont évidemment très déçus que le Parquet ne s’exécute pas dans le cas d’un homme qui a toujours clamé son innocence et lors même que des preuves concordantes de cette innocence ont été réunies lors de l’instruction. Hassan Diab reste en prison, où il a maintenant passé presque trois ans malgré des ordres répétés de remise en liberté constamment rejetés par la Cour d’Appel.

Hier, le député Don Davies, a présenté une pétition parlementaire qui presse le gouvernement canadien à intervenir pour ramener le Dr. Diab chez lui. Cette pétition est signée par des milliers de Canadiens et de résidents permanents.

De plus, une lettre ouverte, signée par des centaines de sympathisants du Dr. Diab, a été envoyée au Premier Ministre Trudeau, au Ministre des Affaires Étrangères Chrystia Freeland, et au Ministre de la Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould en les pressant d’intervenir pour mettre fin à cette situation kafkaïenne.

Alex Neve, Secrétaire général d’Amnesty International (Canada), déclare que « ce délai supplémentaire attribuable au Parquet français est une injustice invraisemblable de plus. Il faut au minimum libérer Monsieur Diab sous caution en attendant la suite. Et les instances supérieures du gouvernement canadien doivent insister pour que cela se passe sans plus de délai. »

Historique:

En novembre 2014 le Dr. Diab fut extradé du Canada en France, accusé de l’attentat devant une synagogue à Paris en 1980. Il est détenu en France depuis, en attendant son procès. Des juges d’instruction français ont ordonné six fois la mise en liberté sous caution du Dr. Diab en déclarant que des « éléments concordants » prouvent que le Dr. Diab n’était pas en France au moment de l’attentat de Paris en 1980. Cependant chaque fois le Parquet a fait appel et la Cour de Cassation a rejeté l’ordre de remise en liberté à cause du climat politique en France. Le juge d’extradition canadien a trouvé les preuves présentées par les autorités françaises « suspectes » et « très problématiques » Pourtant il disait qu’il se sentait obligé d’après la loi d’extradition canadienne d’ordonner l’extradition du Dr. Diab. Le Dr. Diab est emprisonné ou vit sous des conditions de liberté provisoire très strictes depuis presque neuf années.


Michael Enright on
the appalling treatment of Hassan Diab

Put him on trial or send him home: Michael Enright on the appalling treatment of Hassan Diab
CBC Radio – The Sunday Edition
September 17, 2017

For the past three years, [Hassan Diab] has been sitting in a Paris prison cell.

He has never been brought to trial.

In France, magistrates investigate crimes in much the same way our police do. Investigating magistrates have repeatedly called for Diab’s release on the grounds that there is consistent and corroborated evidence that he never committed the crime.

One judge found that on the evening of the attack, Hassan Diab was studying in Beirut.

The judge wryly commented: ‘This calls into question information implicating him in the attack, since this relies on his presence in France during this period.’

Another judge has tried five or six times to have him released…

First and foremost, why hasn’t the French government released [Hassan] after so many judges said he was not guilty?…

And secondly, why has the Canadian government not vigorously pressed for Professor Diab’s release given that the only evidence at the extradition hearing was dubious at best?

Read Michael Enright’s full essay at:

“http://www.justiceforhassandiab.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/CBC-Radio-The-Sunday-Edition-2017-09-17.pdf