A French court docket has sentenced a Lebanese-Canadian sociologist to life in jail for bombing a synagogue in Paris in 1980. The trial, performed with out the suspect’s presence, was described by Amnesty Worldwide as “baseless and flawed.”
The court docket handed down a life sentence to Hassan Diab, a citizen of each Lebanon and Canada who lives and teaches in Ottawa, on Friday. Diab refused to take part within the trial and the decision was reached in absentia. The court docket issued an arrest warrant for Diab, whose attorneys argued that he was merely within the improper place on the improper time.
French prosecutors accused Diab of planting a bike bomb outdoors a synagogue on Rue Copernic in Paris on October 3, 1980. The bomb went off as greater than 300 worshippers had been gathered contained in the constructing, killing 4 and injuring 46.
Investigators initially suspected neo-Nazi terrorists of the assault, earlier than blaming Palestinian militants. Canadian authorities arrested Diab in 2008 on behalf of French authorities, who claimed that the professor resembled a photofit depiction of the bomber.
Diab was extradited to France in 2014, charged with homicide, and imprisoned. The case in opposition to him was dropped as a consequence of inadequate proof in 2018 and Diab returned to Canada. Nonetheless, a French appeals court docket ordered the case reopened in 2021.
Diab’s attorneys argued that he was finding out in Beirut on the time of the assault. Not one of the unique investigators had been alive to testify, and witnesses who noticed the attacker admitted that their recollections had pale within the intervening 4 a long time. Prosecutors mentioned that Diab’s passport was discovered at an Italian airport in 1981 within the possession of a Palestinian militant chief, however Diab claimed that he misplaced the doc a month earlier than the bombing.
“From the outset of extradition proceedings in Canada fourteen years in the past and persevering with all through authorized proceedings in France over the previous seven years, Canadian and French judges…have persistently discovered the proof in opposition to him to be weak, unreliable and inconclusive,” Amnesty Worldwide wrote final month, calling on French authorities to drop their “baseless and flawed” case.
It’s unclear whether or not Canadian authorities will extradite Diab to France to serve his sentence.
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