“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 am not an anti-Semite.
I have always been opposed to bigotry and violence.”
Dr. Hassan Diab, Ottawa, Canada
Dr. Hassan Diab, a Lebanese Canadian academic, is facing extradition to France for questioning regarding an attack near a synagogue in Paris in 1980. Dr. Diab has never been charged with any crime, yet since late 2008 he has either been imprisoned or living under very strict bail conditions that include having to pay about $2,000 each month for a GPS monitoring device. A Canadian judge committed Dr. Diab to extradition even though the judge found the evidence “very problematic”, “convoluted”, “very confusing”, and “suspect”. The Canadian Minister of Justice ordered Dr. Diab’s surrender to France, even though Dr. Diab is not charged with any crime.
Dr. Diab’s case points to glaring problems with Canada’s extradition law. In extradition cases, the Charter rights of the person sought are severely compromised. Canadian standards of evidence do not apply. The standard for extradition is so low that Canada hands people over to other countries based on evidence that is not acceptable in Canadian courts. Canada has extradition treaties with countries that allow secret intelligence, including intelligence that may have been the product of torture, to be used as evidence at trial.
Everyone should be concerned about this injustice.
Closure to the 1980 tragedy cannot come at the expense of an innocent man.