Video Statement by Dr. Hassan Diab
June 6, 2011
On June 6, 2011, a judge announced his decision to commit Dr. Hassan Diab for extradition to France. At a press conference following the judge’s decision, Hassan released the following recorded statement.
“This is Hassan Diab.
I had nothing to do with what the French authorities allege against me. I am not responsible for what they claim. I was not in France on October 3, 1980, when the hateful attack against the synagogue in Paris took place. I very strongly condemn that attack.
I am against any sort of racially, ethnically, or religiously motivated discrimination and violence. I denounce all such acts. My unwavering moral principle throughout my life has been promoting equality and respect for all. My family, friends, colleagues, and students can easily attest to this.
People who have known me for decades, and I remain deeply disturbed by the allegations against me. I am innocent, and these allegations are baseless.
Over a year before I was charged, a French journalist informed me that I was under investigation for this horrible act. Despite this troubling news, I remained in Ottawa. I did not flee and I was not afraid to confront all accusations to clear my name.
Canada’s Extradition Law gives enormous advantages to foreign countries at the expense of Canadians. According to Dr. Gary Botting, a leading Canadian extradition expert, Extradition Law is “the most unfair process in Canada”.
The Canadian court presumes France’s evidence is reliable, despite its fatal flaws.
The key evidence against me, shoddy handwriting analysis, was admitted as evidence. This is despite the powerful testimony of three leading handwriting experts who demonstrated that the analysis is totally flawed.
Moreover, my palm prints and finger prints do not match those of the suspect. Yet this information was excluded by the court and was not considered.
Many ask, why bother to fight extradition. Why not go to France, face trial, and clear my name?
Unfortunately, under France’s anti-terrorism laws, I will face charges based on secret intelligence that I cannot challenge. Human Rights Watch has documented the use of secret intelligence in terrorism cases in France. Moreover, my ability to challenge the handwriting analysis will be severely restricted. This is confirmed by French legal experts consulted by my lawyer.
I reiterate: I am innocent of the charges against me. I will take every legal opportunity to clear my name and I look forward to the day in which I can reclaim my life. I intend to continue my fight in the court and look forward to the Canadian court rectifying this injustice.
Finally, I am deeply thankful to my lawyer, Mr. Don Bayne. I also thank my family, friends, and supporters who have stood by me during this most difficult time of my life.
May justice and truth prevail.”