Canadian ordered to stand trial in France for 1980 bombing

PARIS (AP) — France’s court of appeal has said that a Lebanese-Canadian academic wanted in connection with a 1980 bombing outside a Paris synagogue must stand trial.

The ruling on Wednesday came three years after anti-terrorism judges for a lower court freed 67-year-old Hassan Diab from French custody owing to a lack of evidence.

Diab’s lawyers said they would challenge the reversal.

“They admit that they doubt he was even there, yet they say that the body of evidence deserves to be debated in trial court,” Donald Bayne, Diab’s Canada-based lawyer, said. “I would respectfully submit that no justice system worthy of its name offers an innocent scapegoat to satisfy a demanding lobby.”

Diab has denied involvement in the October 3, 1980 bomb attack that killed four people and wounded 46.

Canada authorized his extradition to France at the end of 2014. He spent three years in pretrial detention and returned to Canada after the lower court ordered his release.

French investigators attributed the unclaimed synagogue attack to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-Special Operations (PFLP-SO). Diab was identified by French authorities in 1999, and accused of planting the bomb.

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