The Department of Justice will this week release the findings of an external probe into Hassan Diab’s extradition to France following allegations of involvement in a 1980 bombing outside a Paris synagogue, sources familiar with the department’s plans tell CBC News.
A department spokesperson wouldn’t confirm the information, but multiple sources briefed on the department’s plans say the review will be made public Friday.
Diab, a 65-year-old Ottawa university lecturer, was accused by French authorities of involvement in a 1980 terrorist attack which killed four people and injured more than 40.
He has consistently maintained his innocence. He was released in January 2018 after two French judges ruled the evidence against him wasn’t strong enough to take to trial. He was never formally charged.
Diab was arrested by the RCMP in November 2008 and placed under strict bail conditions until he was extradited to France in 2014. Diab spent more than three years in prison in France before the case against him collapsed.
While she was justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould tasked the former deputy attorney general of Ontario, Murray Segal, with conducting an external review of Diab’s extradition.
Justice Minister David Lametti received the report nearly two months ago but the findings still have not been shared with Diab or anyone outside of government.
‘I expected better than this’
Diab and his supporters have been agitating for the immediate public release of the report without redactions.
“I am terribly disappointed by the lack of transparency and the extensive delays in making the external review report public,” Diab told CBC News last week. “I expected better than this from Minister Lametti and the Liberal government.”
Lametti’s department told CBC News last week that the report was in the final stages of translation and would be released “shortly.”
Diab boycotted Segal’s review. He argued that it fell short of his demand for a judge-led public inquiry with full subpoena power, which would have allowed Diab’s lawyer Donald Bayne to cross-examine witnesses.
Groups such as Amnesty International and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association have been pressing for a public inquiry into Diab’s case, as have a growing number of labour groups such as the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Canadian Association of University Teachers.
Diab himself appealed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “put an end to this foot-dragging that is prolonging my suffering and that of my family, and to order a public and independent inquiry.”
Diab is still waiting for the French Court of Appeal to deliver a ruling on whether the court would uphold the decision that saw him released from jail.
That court was supposed to hold a hearing in October of last year; no hearing took place.
If France wins its appeal, it could seek to extradite Diab a second time, or to try him in absentia.