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Federal government to release findings of review into Hassan Diab’s extradition


July 26, 2019
By The Canadian Press

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OTTAWA—The federal government is expected to release findings today of an independent review of an extradition that resulted in Ottawa professor Hassan Diab spending three years in a French jail.

French authorities suspected Diab was involved in the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue that killed four people and injured dozens of others, an accusation he has always denied.

The RCMP arrested Diab, who is a Canadian citizen, in 2008 following a request by French authorities and he was sent to France six years later despite an Ontario judge’s acknowledgment that the case against him was weak.

French judges eventually dismissed the allegations against Diab in January 2018 but last fall a French appeal court ordered a fresh review of evidence in the case.

Diab, his lawyer and human-rights groups have been urging the federal government to hold a full public inquiry into his case and to reform the Extradition Act to ensure others aren’t caught in the same situation.

The findings of the external review will be released with Canada’s extradition law under intense international scrutiny following the December arrest of senior Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver at the behest of the United States.

Meng’s arrest angered China and Canada now finds itself entangled in a diplomatic crisis with the Asian superpower. In the days after Meng’s arrest, Chinese authorities detained two Canadians on allegations of espionage.

The Trudeau government has repeatedly insisted Meng will be dealt with fairly and transparently by an independent judiciary. The prime minister has called China’s arrests of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor arbitrary.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2019