Wiesenthal Centre to French Justice Minister: “Prepare Paris Court for Copernic Synagogue Terror Suspect”

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“Now the Ontario Appeal Court has upheld extradition, the 34 year wait of the survivors and families of the victims must end. Justice further delayed is justice denied!”

Paris, 16 May 2014

In a letter to French Justice Minister, Christiane Taubira, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, urged, “Now the Ontario Appeal Court has upheld the decision to extradite Copernic synagogue bombing suspect, Hassan Diab, preparations must be made for his trial in Paris.”

Samuels recounted, “On the evening of 3 October 1980, I was visiting the well-known journalist Tamar Golan, at her home in rue Lauriston. Her houseguest, Aliza Shagrir – wife of a prominent Israeli television producer – asked if anything was needed for dinner. ‘A few figs,’ Tamar replied. We went downstairs together. I continued along the street to my car. She turned into the rue Copernic to the fruit shop facing the synagogue where, a few seconds later, she met her death.”

The letter added, “Twenty-eight years later, the search finally led to Hassan Diab – a former Palestinian Lebanese Sociology Professor in Ottawa – as the prime suspect in an atrocity which left four dead outside the synagogue and over forty wounded on the inside.”

Photo: October 3, 2010: Then-Prime Minister Francois Fillon at podium of Copernic at 6:38pm -the moment of the explosion- L-R: SWC-France President Richard Odier, 3rd SWC Direcotr for International Relations Shimon Samuels

Samuels continued, “In November 2010, I sat in the Ottawa courtroom hearing of the French extradition request – a procedure that normally, between two democracies, should have taken up to three days. Almost four years later, the Appeal Court has now approved that extradition, but Diab’s legal team seeks further delaying tactics through the Supreme Court.  For thirty-four years, the survivors and the families of the victims have been awaiting justice.”

The Centre urged the Minister to impress upon her Canadian counterpart, “the urgency in sending Diab for trial in a Paris court.”

The letter emphasized that, “Copernic, in 1980, launched two years of anti-Semitic terrorism – 73 shootings and bombings of Jewish targets across Western Europe, of which 29 took place in France. This wave of attacks ended with the machine-gunning of pedestrians in the Rue des Rosiers in August 1982, leaving 9 dead.”

“The trial of Hassan Diab will bring closure to many who have waited too long. It will also draw the lessons of that dark period to a new generation at a time of resurgent anti-Semitism and racist violence.

Justice further delayed is justice denied,” concluded Samuels.

For further information please contact Dr. Shimon Samuels on 00(33)609770158, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.


The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).