Image: Canada's Minister of Justice
UPDATE: July 27, 2019
CBC: 'Whitewash': Hassan Diab attacks report concluding government acted properly in his extradition case
Lawyer Donald Bayne:
JUSTICE FOR HASSAN DIAB:
Preserve the Rights of Canadians under Extradition Law
Tomorrow, Friday July 26, the Dept. of Justice will release its findings re the extradition to France of Dr. Hassan Diab. Details in Media Advisory below.
My thanks to any readers of YYC who may have heeded the notice in my side column regarding donations and especially phone calls to Justice Minister Lametti's office asking that his report be released to the public.
At the moment, it is a mystery to all why Canada consented to extraditing former Ottawa U. Professor Hassan Diab at the request of France despite having found no evidence of his having committed the legal offence for which France wanted to prosecute him, and who finally released him after 3 years in a French prison because they apparently could not build a case against him.
There can be no real justice in a situation like this, nor in the case also of Mohamed Harkat, but it must be acknowledged that innocent people have been severely wronged by our government's perceived need to be seen to be taking security measures following the events of September 11, 2001.
For Immediate Release
From the Hassan Diab Support Committee
25 July 2019, Ottawa – We were informed that the Department of Justice will release tomorrow (Friday July 26) the findings of an external review of Dr. Hassan Diab's extradition to France in 2014.
The external review was conducted by Murray Segal, former Deputy Attorney General of Ontario. Mr. Segal was asked to assess whether Department of Justice officials followed the law and departmental procedures while pursuing France’s request to extradite Diab.
After the release of Mr. Segal’s report, there will be a press conference on Parliament Hill. Speakers include: Hassan Diab, Don Bayne (Diab’s Canadian lawyer), Justin Mohammed (Human Rights Law and Policy Campaigner at Amnesty International Canada), and Roger Clark (spokesperson for the Hassan Diab Support Committee).
What: Press conference reacting to Murray Segal’s report on Hassan Diab’s extradition case
Where: 135-B Press Conference Room in West Block on Parliament Hill, Ottawa
When: Friday July 26, 2019, 3:00 PM
Dr. Hassan Diab is a Canadian citizen and sociology professor who lives in Ottawa. He was extradited from Canada to France in November 2014, even though the Canadian extradition judge, Robert Maranger, described the evidence presented against Diab as “very problematic”, “convoluted”, “illogical”, and “suspect”. However, given the low threshold of evidence in Canada’s Extradition Act, the judge felt compelled to order Diab's extradition.
Diab spent more than three years in prison in France while the decades-long investigation in his case was ongoing – this despite the fact that Canada’s Extradition Act only authorizes extradition to stand trial, not to continue an investigation.
In January 2018, the French investigating judges dismissed all charges against Diab and ordered his release. They stated that there is consistent evidence that Diab was not in France at the time of the 1980 bombing in Paris that tragically killed four people and injured dozens. They also notably underlined the numerous contradictions and misstatements contained in the anonymous intelligence, and cast serious doubts about its reliability. The investigating judges also stressed that all fingerprint and palm print analysis excluded Diab.
Shortly thereafter, Diab was released from prison in France, and returned to his home and family in Canada. He had spent almost ten years of his life either imprisoned or living under draconian bail conditions, including more than three years in near solitary confinement in a French jail.
In June 2018, CBC News reported that a key fingerprint analysis exonerating Diab was not disclosed to the court in Canada during the extradition proceedings. The court in Canada was told that no such evidence existed, when in fact the fingerprint analysis that excluded Diab was done in early 2008, many months before France requested Diab’s extradition. CBC News also reported that in 2009 a senior lawyer at the Canadian Department of Justice (DOJ) urged the French authorities to obtain new handwriting ‘evidence’ against Diab when the extradition case was about to collapse. In another effort to shore up the case, the DOJ lawyer requested another fingerprint analysis of a police document signed by the suspect as he believed that the evidence would be very powerful in getting Hassan extradited. When the RCMP fingerprint analysis excluded Diab, the DOJ lawyer never disclosed this fact to the court in Canada or to the defense.
Numerous human rights, civil society organisations, and labor unions – including Amnesty International Canada, British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, Canadian Association of University Teachers, the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), among others – have called on the Canadian government to conduct an independent public inquiry into Diab’s extradition, as well as to undertake a complete review of the Extradition Act so no other Canadian would go through what Hassan Diab and his family had to endure.
For more information:
Hassan Diab Support Committee
Tel: (613) 355-2623
* * * * * * * *
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