Canadian professor tied to 1980 French bombing denied bail

December 4th, 2008 - 9:27 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Dec 4 (IANS) A Canadian university professor, facing extradition to France for his alleged involvement in the bombing of a Paris synagogue in 1980, was denied bail Wednesday.Hassan Diab, who teaches part-time at Ottawa University and Carleton University in Ottawa (both in Ottawa), was arrested Nov 13 for his alleged links to a Palestinian group that killed four worshippers by bombing a Paris synagogue 28 years ago.

The worshippers were killed as they were about to finish their prayers in Oct 1980. The bombing was blamed on the defunct Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-Special Operations.

The French reopened the 28-year-old case last year when the German authorities found an old membership list of the terror outfit. The name of the 55-year-old Canadian professor was also on that list.

Admitting the government lawyer’s plea that Diab could disappear if he was freed on bail, a court in Ottawa refused to grant him bail as he awaits his trial for extradition to France.

“All the ingredients exist to spur a flight in this case,” said Justice Michel Charbonneau Wednesday.

Citing Diab’s residence in various countries over the years, the judge said the professor does not have “any real ties anywhere.”

The extradition trial is likely to begin early next year, though the French authorities have yet to send a formal request to the Canadian government.

Though the evidence provided by the French so far against Diab is quite substantial, the judge said it could “fall like a house of cards” during the extradition trial.

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