Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Judge blasts France in bombing case

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OTTAWA -- An Ontario judge suggested Monday that he's growing weary of delays from the French government in the extradition hearing of a professor accused of bombing a Paris synagogue.

Superior Court Justice Robert Maranger told a hearing that he wants to start the flow of evidence soon in the extradition case of Hassan Diab, 56, a Carleton University professor.

"We have a Canadian citizen under strict bail conditions waiting around to see what happens," Maranger said. "I want to get this thing going."

He said if the French government is not ready to present its case by any agreed date, "I may not be very receptive to that."

The court tentatively set aside three weeks in June to hear the extradition evidence, but that is subject to confirmation this week. In the meantime, Maranger has given the French until March 29 to present new evidence.

France wants Diab, a Lebanese-born Canadian citizen, extradited to stand trial on charges of killing four people and injuring 40 outside a Paris synagogue with a bomb-packed motorcycle in 1980. The RCMP arrested him in November 2008 at the request of French authorities.

Diab maintains he is the victim of mistaken identity.

Diab's lawyer, Donald Bayne, said while France delays, his client must wear a GPS monitoring device that costs him $2,500 a month.

Bayne has argued that France has had 28 years to get its case ready.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 9, 2010 A8

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