Kangaroo Court Justice for Hassan Diab
Drawing by W.S. Gilbert (d. 1911)
On November 13, 2008, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) unjustly arrested Diab. In connection with a 1980 Paris synagogue bombing. A crime he had nothing to do with. At the time, France’s Le Figaro newspaper cited unnamed 2007 sources. Saying Diab led “the small commando team responsible for the attack…” Despite no verifiable evidence proving it.
In mid-November 2008, L’Express said French police, magistrates and intelligence officers were in Canada.
“(T)ry(ing) to arrange Mr. Diab’s extradition to France. The French warrant *(unjustly) accuse(d) him of making and planting the bomb.”
His lawyer, Rene Duval, said he had no involvement at all. “Most definitely he’s innocent,” he stressed. “He didn’t even set foot in France in 1980. At the time, he was studying sociology at the University of Lebanon.”
He was unjustly accused of “driv(ing) the motorbike that eventually exploded.” Killing three French men and an Israeli woman.
Diab is a former University of Ottawa and Carleton University sociology professor. Terminated without just cause. Violating his presumed innocence right. Capitulating unjustly to political pressure.
Diab is a Lebanese national with dual citizenship. With no criminal record whatever. No involvement with the group accused of the Paris bombing.
Or other resistance organizations. Including alleged Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine membership.
No knowledge of what happened until a Le Figaro reporter told him at the University of Ottawa. On June 6, 2011, an Ottawa judge ordered Diab extradited to France. Several appeals for justice followed. To no avail.
On April 4, 2012, Canadian Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson ordered Diab’s extradition. To face terror charges.
In 2014, Diab’s appeals to the Ontario Court of Appeal and Canadian Supreme Court were rejected. His extradition order remained upheld.
On November 14, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported his extradition. After Canadian Supremes refused to hear his appeal. Without explanation. Based on deeply flawed handwriting analysis. So-called secret information. Unavailable to Diab or counsel representing him.
Raising fundamental constitutionality issues. Procedural fairness. Kangaroo court justice prevailed. Operating like America’s High Court. Representing wealth, power and privilege. Anti-populist. Denying justice.
Diab’s current lawyer, Donald Bayne, confirmed what happened. Saying he didn’t even have a chance to see family members before extradition.
“We were trying to arrange, in the early morning, a visit for Dr. Diab’s wife and child before he was taken away, and the jail replied that he had been in fact picked up at 5:30 AM,” Bayne said.
“So he has not, since the decision yesterday, had even a visit with his wife or child…You can imagine. She’s beside herself with grief.”
In December 2009, Amnesty International lawyer Paul Champ said: “If the Canadian government and the French government are able to rely on this kind of intelligence information to support an extradition, I think it’s yet another step in the erosion of civil liberties that we’ve been familiar with in Canada and in other countries for a very long time.”
In October 2007, Diab told Le Figaro: “I am a victim of mistaken identity not based on anything” but unjust conjecture. “I have never belonged to a Palestinian organization, nor have I been militant politically.”
“Because of such mistaken identities, my travel in Canada was often affected.” He explained how often he’s mistaken for others with the same name, adding: “Since (9/11), we know that files are created on nothing, particularly if you are a member of a minority, and that innocent people will admit to anything if they are put under pressure.”
His JusticeForHassan.org web site said until October 2007, he “enjoyed and engaged in a productive public life, including teaching, publishing research, and traveling internationally.”
False accusations changed everything. On November 8, 2010, he released the following statement, saying:
“I am innocent of the charges against me. I condemn all ethnically, racially, and religiously motivated violence.”
“Since Sept. 11, 2001, the presumption of innocence and other core values of our legal system have eroded, especially for people from particular minority backgrounds.”
“I hope this extradition hearing will end the witch-hunt atmosphere I have been living under for the past three years, and that no one else will have to endure the burden of false, unfounded accusations.”
“I also wish to thank the many people and groups across Canada who have signed a statement in my support.”
On November 14, he issued a statement, saying:
“I am deeply shocked that the Supreme Court refused to even hear the appeal in my case.”
“This is a very sad day for me, my family and supporters, and the state of extradition law in Canada. I had hoped for justice from the Canadian legal system.”
“I have been living a Kafkaesque nightmare for over six years, fighting false allegations against me, enduring detention, strict bail conditions, the loss of my employment, and enormous stress on my family.”
“It is beyond devastating that the Supreme Court would allow my extradition for a crime that I did not commit and based on a handwriting analysis report that was shown by world-renowned handwriting experts to be wholly unreliable, totally erroneous, and biased.”
“It is shocking that this would happen in Canada, despite the numerous commissions on wrongful convictions based on faulty forensic evidence and the Court’s vow to never let this happen again.”
“I, my family, friends, and supporters, will continue to fight the false allegations that have been imposed on me, a Canadian citizen who is law-abiding, peaceful, compassionate, and who abhors violence.”
“I am grateful and heartened by the outpouring of support from thousands of individuals and organizations that recognize the injustice that I have experienced and the unfairness of Canada’s extradition law.”
“I am also deeply thankful to my devoted lawyers who tirelessly worked on my behalf for years.”
“I vow to never give up, and I will always remain hopeful that I will eventually return to my home in Canada and be reunited with my wife and children.”
His web site explained the Kafkaesque case against him, saying: Imagine being told “by a foreign country you committed a crime 30 years ago…(One) you know nothing about.”
“(Y)ou face allegations based on misrepresentations, contradictions, and secret intelligence from unknown sources.”
“(D)eeply flawed handwriting analysis is used as (so-called) ‘proof’ of your guilt when it actually (proves) innocence.”
“(F)inger and palm print evidence…shows you are innocent…” Authorities suppress it to wrongfully claim guilt.
Since November 2008, Diab endured months of detention. Loss of academic employment. Humiliating/oppressive bail conditions.
Including house arrest and hugely expensive GPS monitoring. An electronic ankle bracelet costing Diab $2,000 a month.
Letting him leave home only if accompanied by one of five sureties posting over $250,000 in bail.
Like many others of Middle East origin, he’s another war on terror victim.
Hung out to dry unjustly. His lawyer, Donald Bayne, called the Supreme Court’s decision “profoundly disappointing.”
“Unfortunately, in this case, we now have, in my view, a classic recipe for the wrongful conviction of a Canadian,” he said.
“This could never meet Canadian constitutional standards for criminal trial, yet we’re sending a Canadian to such a Kafkaesque trial, where he can’t possibly meet the standards of knowing the case against him and making and having a real and meaningful opportunity to answer that case.”
So-called secret evidence was crucial in his case. Human Rights Watch (HRW) documented instances of French courts using torture-obtained evidence to convict.
What no legitimate court would allow. What America’s Supreme Court decades earlier ruled illegal.
In testimony at Diab’s extradition November 2010 hearing, University of Toronto Law Professor Kent Roach said so-called intelligence used doesn’t meet Canadian evidentiary standards.
Raising concerns about French “tunnel vision.” Cherry-picking or inventing intelligence to convict.
Ignoring hard truths exonerating Diab. Warning about relying on unsourced intelligence.
Unverified. Unchallenged. Ignoring judicial fairness. Pronouncing guilty by accusation.
Setting a dangerous legal precedent. Undermining fundamental Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
A constitutional bill of rights. Section 2(b) stating:
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
Article 7 assures “(e)veryone has the right to life, liberty and security of person and the right not to be deprived thereof in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”
The Charter protects fundamental freedoms. Democratic rights. Fairness in legal proceedings. Especially in criminal cases.
Habeas rights. Challenging detention. Presumption of innocence. Unless or until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Based on verifiable evidence.
Constitutionally guaranteed. Prohibiting anyone being denied liberty and security. Except through proper legal procedures.
Protected against unreasonable searches and seizures. Excessive police force. Arbitrary arrest and detention.
Arbitrary/improper law enforcement actions. The right to be told precisely why arrest and detention were ordered.
Immediate counsel representation. Quick court determination whether arrest and detention are lawful. If charged with an offense, the right:
- for prompt full explanation;
- to be tried without unreasonable delay;
- to remain silent at trial; not testify;
- to presumed innocence unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; in fair, impartial, public tribunal proceedings;
- to reasonable bail;
- not to be subjected to cruel and unusual treatment;
- to jury trial; and
- to no double jeopardy; no retrial for the same offense.
Everyone is constitutionally equal before the law. With equal protections. Regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex, age, or mental or physical disability.
Constitutionally guaranteed rights don’t matter. Canada is more police state than democracy, marching in lockstep with America. Rogue states operate this way.
Diab one of many politically persecuted victims. Guilt by accusation suffices. Deprived of judicial fairness. Justice remains denied.
Stephen Lendman wrote How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on DissidentVoice.org.