Hassan Diab charged with 1st-degree murder in France
A former Carleton University lecturer who was recently extradited from Canada to France has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a deadly 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue, CTV News has learned.
Hassan Diab was extradited to France on Friday after the Supreme Court of Canada cleared the way for his removal.
He is now facing multiple charges, including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and destruction of property with an explosive or incendiary substance, his lawyer, Stephane Bonifassi, said in an email to CTV News.
"My client is in good spirits and I would say in combative spirits," Bonifassi said in an interview with The Canadian Press. "We will fight the charges and hopefully the fact that there is no evidence against my client will prevail and he will be set free."
Bonifassi said the judge currently handling the case will determine if it warrants a trial. That investigation could take up to 18 months.
Diab will remain in detention until that decision is made, Bonifassi said.
Diab, 60, is accused of being involved with the 1980 bombing of a synagogue in Paris that killed four people and injured dozens of others. The RCMP arrested him in November 2008, following a request from France.
Diab was committed for extradition in 2011 by an Ontario Superior Court judge, and an extradition order was signed in April 2012. The Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the decision.
Criminal defence lawyer Daniel Brown says the court’s decision is problematic.
"I think it's problematic moving forward that Canada has chosen to extradite a Canadian citizen in the face of such weak evidence," Brown told CTV News.
He also said the evidence French officials used to build a case against Diab “appears to have been obtained by torture and by other means.”
Diab has denied the allegations, none of which have been tested in a court of law.
Previously, the Lebanese-Canadian worked as a sociology lecturer at Carleton University in Ottawa.