eBulletin: French Court of Appeal Delays Again Decision on
Hassan Diab’s Case

Justice for Hassan Diab – eBulletin, November 7, 2018

In this issue:
1. French Court of Appeal delays again decision on Hassan’s Case
2. Please donate to Hassan’s legal defence in France
3. Call for a public inquiry to prevent wrongful extraditions
4. Recent news articles

1. French Court of Appeal delays again decision on Hassan’s Case

On Friday October 26, 2018, Dr. Hassan Diab’s decade-long ordeal was prolonged yet further, as the French Court of Appeal delayed once again a decision on the prosecution’s appeal in Hassan’s case. Instead of upholding the decision of the French investigating judges who found powerful evidence of Hassan’s innocence and dismissed all allegations against him, the Court of Appeal ordered a review of the handwriting analysis report that led to Hassan’s wrongful extradition in 2014.

Initially, in 2008, French authorities submitted two handwriting analysis reports to get Hassan extradited. After the defense provided evidence to the court in Canada showing that these reports were based on documents that were not even written by Hassan, and as the extradition case was collapsing, lawyers from Canada’s Department of Justice wrote to French authorities urging them to produce another handwriting analysis report.

Several months later, the lawyers from Canada’s Department of Justice announced that they were withdrawing the previous two handwriting analysis reports against Hassan and filing a third, replacement report. Five world-renowned handwriting experts from Britain, Canada, Switzerland and the Unites States testified that this third handwriting analysis report is biased, totally flawed, and utterly unreliable, and that an objective analysis points away from Hassan. The Canadian extradition judge described the report as “illogical”, “problematic” “confusing”, and “suspect”. However, given the low threshold of evidence in extradition, the judge decided to commit Hassan to extradition based almost entirely on this discredited report.

Now, seven years later, the French Court of Appeal has decided to order another review of the third handwriting analysis report. In the meantime, Hassan and his family continue to face uncertainty even though the French investigative judges found that there is overwhelming and consistent evidence of Hassan’s innocence, including multiple fingerprint and palm print analyses that exclude him.

Reacting to the delay, Hassan remarked, “They don’t want to admit they made a mistake. And I have this feeling they want to keep going… Eleven years and still, with all the evidence and everything, it’s just a way of saying, ‘We don’t want to admit our mistake.’ That’s the message.”

Don Bayne, Hassan’s lawyer in Canada, said, “There are pressures in France, obviously some of them political, to keep this case going to satisfy some of the public outrage that has been generated.”

2. Please donate to Hassan’s legal defence

The latest delay in dismissing the case against Hassan not only prolongs Hassan’s ordeal, but it also continues to add to the legal fees he has incurred over the past ten years.

Please help us defray the cost of Hassan’s legal defence in France. We must raise CAD $30,000 to pay the current legal bill. A donation of any amount would go a long way in ensuring that an innocent man is not wrongfully convicted. Your help is much appreciated!

You can donate by cheque or online.

(a) Cheque Donations:

Please make cheques payable to “Extradition Legal Defence Fund” and send them to the following address (post-dated cheques are accepted):

Extradition Legal Defence Fund
c/o Ria Heynen
20 Cleary Ave., Apt. 504
Ottawa, Ontario K2A 3Z9

(a) Donations Using PayPal or Credit Card:

For information on how to donate, please visit: http://www.justiceforhassandiab.org/donate

You can choose one-time donation or monthly donations.

3. Call for a public inquiry to prevent wrongful extraditions

The Hassan Diab Support Committee, in conjunction with numerous human rights and civil society groups, is renewing our call for an independent public inquiry into Hassan’s extradition and a thorough review of Canada’s Extradition Act.

The problems inherent in Canada’s Extradition Act, coupled with actions by lawyers at the Canadian Department of Justice, led to Hassan’s wrongful extradition. He is caught in a Kafkaesque legal saga despite overwhelming evidence of his innocence.

No one in Canada should have to go through what Hassan and his family continue to endure! It is long overdue for the Canadian government to seriously reform Canada’s Extradition Act. The law as it stands puts all Canadians at risk of potential wrongful extradition.

Please support our call for a public inquiry by writing to Prime Minister Trudeau!
A sample letter is available here: http://www.justiceforhassandiab.org/help

4. Recent news articles

“French court delays appeal decision in Hassan Diab case, orders new handwriting analysis”, Globe and Mail, October 26, 2018

“Diab’s appeal unexpectedly delayed for new handwriting analysis”, Ottawa Citizen, October 25, 2018, Ottawa Citizen, October 26, 2018

“Renewed calls for public inquiry as France pushes appeal decision in Hassan Diab case to next year”, CBC News, October 25, 2018

“Court pushes appeal of Hassan Diab’s release from French prison to next year”, CBC News, October 25, 2018

Hassan Diab Support Committee

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