Accused Paris bomber's extradition case delayed in Canada

19th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

An extradition hearing for Hassan Diab, a Canadian-Lebanese national arrested for his alleged role in a 1980 Paris bombing that killed four, has been delayed, his lawyer told AFP Wednesday.

A new date has not yet been set.

The hearing was due to begin mid-June, but the defense has asked for his bail conditions to be reduced and for an opportunity to challenge new evidence to be presented by French authorities.

The Ontario Superior Court is to hear arguments over several days starting June 21, Donald Bayne, Diab's lawyer, told AFP.

France withdrew evidence this week of two handwriting experts discredited by defense witnesses, and prosecutors are now asking to introduce opinions of a new handwriting expert.

Diab was arrested in November 2008 in a suburb of Canada's capital at the request of French authorities who want him extradited to face charges of murder, attempted murder and willful destruction of property.

He remains out on strict bail conditions, which include wearing an electronic monitoring anklet costing him 2,500 dollars a month.

In October 1980, a bomb planted in a motorcycle saddlebag outside the Copernic Street synagogue in the tony 16th arrondissement killed three Frenchmen and a young Israeli woman. Dozens were injured.

It was the first fatal attack against the French Jewish community since the Nazi occupation of World War II.

French authorities issued a warrant in November 2007 for Diab's arrest, following a lead from German intelligence. But Diab claimed at the time he was a victim of mistaken identity and denied any links to extremist organizations.

© 2010 AFP

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