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