External review concludes govt. acted properly in Hassan Diab’s extradition case

Show your support for Diab by calling Justice Minister David Lametti on August 1 and 2 and urge him to launch an independent public inquiry into Diab's extradition and to reform Canada's extradition law.

Ottawa (29 July 2019) ― In 2008, Hassan Diab, a university lecturer at Carleton University, was accused of taking part in a terrorist attack that occurred outside a Paris synagogue in 1980. The bombing killed 4 people and injured more than 40. Diab was arrested in November 2008, and after 5 years of strict bail conditions, extradited to France in 2014 — despite evidence that Diab’s identity didn’t match that of the suspected bomber. The Canadian judge that ordered Diab’s extradition made specific reference to problems with evidence, but under Canada’s extradition law, Diab wasn’t allowed to present evidence that could have cleared his name. He spent more than 3 years in near-solitary confinement, with no trial, before French judges dropped his case due to lack of evidence.

Assurances from PM that steps would be taken to ensure this never happens again go unfulfilled

In June 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “what happened to him [Diab] never should have happened.” An external review, led by Murray Segal, a former deputy attorney general of Ontario, was tasked with determining where the extradition law failed Diab to ensure it never happened again. Instead, the review concluded that Department of Justice lawyers acted ethically and followed proper procedures in their efforts to extradite Diab to France. Further, the review also found that complaints from Diab and his lawyer were without merit.

As quoted by CBC News, Segal “believes that the Extradition Act ‘is working’” and acknowledges “that none of the recommendations” in his report “would have been likely to prevent Diab’s extradition in the first place.” Segal submitted his report to Justice Minister David Lametti roughly 2 months ago, but it was released to the public for the first time last week.

Diab and team label the report a 'whitewash'

At a press conference held after the review findings were made public, Diab and his legal team criticized the review, calling it a miscarriage of justice and a one-sided review intended “to absolve the Department of Justice of any accountability.” When a review of Diab’s case was first proposed, Diab and his team, along with other civil rights organizations like Amnesty International, requested a judge-led public inquiry with full subpoena power and cross-examination of witnesses. Diab and his team are still advocating for such a review to happen now, and they are debating taking legal action against the government.

Even if Diab chooses not to pursue legal action, the story is far from over. Last fall, the French Court of Appeal ordered a fresh review of evidence in Diab’s case. A hearing has yet to take place, but there is a possibility that France may seek to extradite Diab for a second time or try him in absentia.

NUPGE has supported Diab for many years and echoes his call for an independent public inquiry of Canada’s extradition law to ensure no Canadian will be wrongfully extradited in the future.

Take action

Update: In solidarity with the Hassan Diab Support Committee, NUPGE is urging its members to take part in calling Justice Minister David Lametti on August 1 and 2 to urge him to launch an independent public inquiry into Diab's extradition and to reform Canada's extradition law.

Minister David Lametti's Office: (613) 992-4621

You can use the following message for your call:

“Minister Lametti, I am profoundly disappointed with Murray Segal’s report on the wrongful extradition of Hassan Diab. Due to the limited nature of Mr. Segal’s mandate, there are many questions about Dr. Diab’s extradition that remain unanswered. We need full transparency and accountability to ensure that the injustice that happened to Hassan never happens again. I urge you to launch an independent public inquiry into Dr. Diab’s extradition and to reform Canada’s extradition law.”

You can also write to Mr. Lametti at:

The Honourable David Lametti
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8

Email: mcu@justice.gc.ca

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