Suspected Paris synagogue bomber can be extradited from Canada

Marcy Oster

TORONTO (JTA) — Canada’s Supreme Court declined to hear the case of the prime suspect in a deadly 1980 synagogue bombing in Paris, paving the way for his extradition to France.

The nation’s top court on Thursday did not give reasons for its refusal to hear the case of Hassan Diab, who was seeking to appeal lower court rulings that called for his extradition.


French authorities allege that Diab was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and took part in the bombing of the Rue Copernic synagogue that killed four and injured more than 40.

Diab, 60, a dual Lebanese and Canadian citizen, has repeatedly denied the allegations. He and lawyers appealed an extradition order charging that France’s reliance on secret information raised issues of constitutionality and procedural fairness in Canada.

French authorities also cite fingerprint and handwriting evidence against Diab.

In case before the Supreme Court, Canadian authorities had argued that it “raises no issue of public importance.”

In 2011, an Ontario judge upheld a French request for Diab’s extradition even though he said the case against him was weak. Since then, Diab has been living under house arrest. He had been working as sociology professor in Ottawa.

The lower court’s decision was upheld by Ontario’s Court of Appeal and the federal justice minister.

The high court’s ruling “sends an important message: that diligent, committed authorities will never cease in their pursuit of justice against terrorists on behalf of their victims,” the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs said in a statement.