University terminates prof accused in French terror case
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, July 29, 2009 7:24AM EDT
OTTAWA - An Ottawa university has dismissed a professor accused of involvement in a deadly Paris bombing nearly three decades ago.
Hassan Diab was teaching a part-time summer course in sociology at Carleton University.
The university said it had hired Diab to teach through the middle of August because of an unforeseen leave taken by the course's original instructor.
A Jewish organization had criticized Diab's hiring, saying that an alleged terrorist should not be teaching impressionable university students.
Diab is expected to face a hearing in January, when a judge will decide whether he should be sent to France to face allegations he participated in the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue that killed four people and wounded dozens of others.
In a statement, Carleton University said it had replaced Diab with another professor, and would make no further comment on the issue.
"A full-time faculty member, with direct experience teaching introductory sociology, will immediately replace the current instructor, Hassan Diab," the statement said.
The university said the action was being taken "in the interest of providing its students with a stable, productive academic environment that is conducive to learning."
Diab had previously taught a similar course at the university.
B'nai Brith Canada had issued a statement of its own earlier Tuesday, saying it was "deeply disturbed" that Diab was teaching "impressionable students" at Carleton.
"Canadians should be extremely concerned that an alleged terrorist, accused of committing ... heinous acts, will be teaching our youth at a leading Canadian university," said Frank Dimant, B'nai Brith Canada's executive vice-president.
"This man, who is wanted in France and currently out on bail while the investigation continues, is accused of murdering four people in cold blood just because they were Jewish and decided to worship in a synagogue.
"We find it deplorable that university officials believe that there is nothing wrong with employing Diab. The safety and security of the community as a whole, and of the Carleton University campus in particular, are of great concern to us".
Information about Diab's most recent teaching duties was revealed in court Monday, where Diab and his wife Rania Tfaily were trying to obtain standing in a hearing to decide whether evidence seized by police can be sent to prosecutors in France.
Diab has maintained his innocence since he was arrested in late 2008.
He was released on bail March 31, 2008, under strict conditions that include wearing a GPS-monitored ankle bracelet.
He is under house arrest and is not allowed to leave unless accompanied by one of five individuals who posted a combined $250,000 in bail bonds.
The bail conditions allow Diab to attend the university without being accompanied by one of his sureties.