Hassan Diab (not the current Lebanese prime minister, another guy!) was a sociology university professor in Ottawa when Canada handed him over to France on allegations of terrorism.
On 3 October 1980, the rue Copernic synagogue of Paris in France was bombed in a terrorist attack, killing four and wounding 46 people.
The attack took place in the evening near the beginning of Shabbat, during the Jewish holiday of Sim’hat Torah. It was the first deadly attack against Jewish people in France since the end of the Second World War.
In 2008, France requested from Canada to hand over Diab for his alleged involvement in the 1980 Paris synagogue bombing.
He was arrested in Ottawa and extradited to France where he spent almost 9 years deprived of his freedom, and almost 3 years in near-solitary confinement.
However, Diab was never charged in France and the case against him eventually fell apart because of weak evidence. None of the allegations have been proven in court.
The chief investigating judge ruled the evidence against Diab was flawed because of convincing evidence that proved Diab had been in Beirut at the time of the synagogue bombing.
Diab was only granted leave in January 2018 back to Canada after years of a wrongful arrest and the Diab family has now filed a notice of action in the Ontario Superior Court.
Hassan Diab, his wife Rania Tfaily, and their two young children are suing the federal government of Canada for $90 million in damages, as a result of Diab’s extradition to France, causing him years of house arrests and/or spending time behind bars without enough convictions.
The family accuses the government of negligent investigation and malicious prosecution and says federal officials violated his constitutional guarantees of freedom of movement, liberty, and security of the person.
Diab is also suing the government for emotional instability and distress that the case caused the family. He is said to have lost 40 pounds since the conviction and has missed the birth of his son, who was born shortly after his extradition.
The civil suit seeks a total of $50 million for Diab and a further $40 million for his wife and children. The Canadian government has yet to respond to Diab’s notice action but is said to have 20 days to respond.
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