There should be a fully independent public inquiry to prevent any repeat of the injustice done to Hassan Diab

Photo Credit: CBC News, May 2018

Opinion piece in the Globe and Mail by Joe Clark, former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister of Canada; Monique Bégin, former Liberal Minister of Health; and Ed Broadbent, former leader of the New Democratic Party.

Dr. Hassan Diab, a Canadian citizen, was extradited to France in 2014. He was then held without charge in solitary confinement for more than three years… [O]n January 12 of this year, the two French investigative judges responsible for his case issued their decision confirming that there was insufficient evidence for laying charges. Most important, the same two judges had found solid evidence that Dr. Diab was studying in Beirut at the time of the 1980 Paris bomb attack. Dr. Diab was immediately released from prison and was able to return to Canada and his family a few days later…

On May 30, the Minister [of Justice in Canada] announced ‘an external independent review.’ By its nature, a review looks backward. Clearly that is necessary to know what happened in the Diab case. But it is equally essential to look forward and identify what changes are needed in the practices of the Department of Justice or other agencies, to ensure adequate legal protection of Canadians who may find themselves in a similar situation in the future. Canadians facing extradition deserve the full protection afforded by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That would be best achieved by a fully independent public inquiry, able to ensure full transparency and accountability, and provide objective and considered recommendations for reform.

Dr. Diab’s torment should never have happened. Nor should it be repeated.

Read the full opinion piece: