For Immediate Release
Representatives of a Foreign State Met with French Investigative Judges to Try to Interfere in Dr. Diab’s case; PM Trudeau Urged to Remedy Miscarriage of Justice.
1 November 2017, Ottawa – Dr. Hassan Diab was informed that recently officials of a foreign state met with the French investigative judges offering their help in getting him charged instead of freed and returned to Canada. Dr. Diab was extradited from Canada to France in November 2014 even though the Canadian extradition judge found that the evidence presented by French authorities is “suspect” and “very problematic”; yet 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 despite three French judges repeatedly ordering his conditional release. 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. Official documents as well as several witnesses confirmed that Dr. Diab was studying and taking his university exams in Lebanon at that time. 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 that they have ended their investigations in Dr. Diab’s case. However, their final decision 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, but instead officials of a foreign state have intervened to keep the case against Dr. Diab alive at any cost. This latest development increases serious and legitimate fears that political pressure might interfere with the investigations and jeopardize Dr. Diab’s right to fair and independent justice.
The note submitted by the foreign state officials does not include any evidence. It refers to old, recycled, unfounded, anonymous, and contradictory allegations that were discredited by the French investigative judges. The note even misstates the date of the Paris bombing as 1982, and seems to confuse Dr. Diab with someone else. Its palpable unreliability lends credence to the fact that this intervention by a foreign state is nothing more than a last minute, desperate attempt to bring political pressure on the French judicial authorities and to deny Dr. Diab justice in France.
Don Bayne, Dr. Diab’s lawyer in Canada, noted 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 citizen, while a foreign state is taking direct action seeking to weigh 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 his return to Canada. Will the Canadian government stand idly by as the injustices in this case compound?”
For more information: