Former Ottawa professor sues Canada for extraditing him to France over synagogue bombing

Former Canadian professor sues government for $69 million for extraditing him to France to be tried for synagogue bombing.

David Lazarus, JTA ,

Hassan Diab
Hassan Diab
Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images

A former Canadian university professor and his family are suing the Canadian government for $69 million for extraditing him to France in 2014 for allegedly being involved in the deadly 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue.

Hassan Diab, a Lebanon native who became a Canadian citizen in 1993, was sent back to France six years after a lengthy extradition process. French authorities alleged that Diab was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and took part in the attack of a synagogue on Rue Copernic that killed four people and injured 40.

Diab, who taught sociology at the University of Ottawa, spent three years in a Paris jail before his release in January 2018 due to compelling evidence that he was in Beirut, Lebanon, at the time of the bombing.

In his lawsuit, which was filed last week, Diab claims damages for a “negligent investigation, malicious prosecution, malfeasance in public office, spoliation of evidence, deceit, abuse of process, and intentional affliction of emotional distress.”

Diab, 66, also is seeking damages based on having his Canadian charter rights allegedly breached.

A review of Canada’s extradition process in 2019 cleared Canadian prosecutors of any wrongdoing but recommended improving the extradition process.