Wiesenthal Centre to Canadian Justice Minister: "Extradite 1980 Copernic Synagogue Bombing Suspect to a French Court Without Delay"

Tel. +33-147237637 - Fax: +33-147208401
E-mail: csweurope@gmail.com

"French Justice Minister assures Centre of 'understanding the painful situation of the [victims] families [and] the length of time increasing a determination for punishment by the Justice of our country...We are attentively following this case through our liaison magistrate in Canada'."

Paris, 5 November

In a letter to Canadian Justice Minister Peter Gordon MacKay, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, raised on behalf of the Centre's 400,000 members, 3,000 of whom in France, "The long-pending French extradition request for Hassan Diab, arrested in Ottawa, in 2008, exactly six years ago, for the bombing of the rue Copernic synagogue in Paris on 3 October 1980."
(see photo)

Samuels recalled, "That evening I was visiting a journalist friend in Paris who had a house guest for the weekend, Aliza Shagrir - wife of a prominent Israeli film maker. Aliza asked our host if anything was needed for dinner. She was requested to buy a few figs. We descended to the street together. I walked straight to my car, she turned to the fruit-shop on the rue Copernic where a few seconds later she met her Death."

Samuels continued, "Exactly four years ago, in November 2010, I sat in the Ottawa court extradition hearing - a procedure between democracies of normally some three or four days," adding, "In June 2011, Judge Marenger ruled for extradition and your predecessor, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, authorized Diab's transfer to France in April 2012. The Ottawa Appeals Court has since confirmed the judgment."

The letter noted, "This week, the Diab legal team are pursuing their delaying tactics at the Canadian Supreme Court, while the survivors and the families of the four murdered and 42 wounded have waited 34 years for closure."

Samuels quoted from a letter just arrived from the French Justice Minister, "I assure you of our full understanding of the painful situation for the families and friends of the deceased in this attack, the length of time [ancienneté des faits] only increases their determination to see punishment by the justice of our country.... We have no power to intervene in the current judicial process before the Canadian jurisdiction... Nevertheless, I can assure you that we are attentively following this case through our liaison magistrate in Canada."

The Centre pointed to Copernic as, "Launching in 1980 two years of anti-Semitic-terrorism - 79 shootings and bombings of Jewish targets across Western Europe of which 29 in France. This wave of atrocity ended with a machine-gun spree in the rue des Rosiers, Paris Jewish quarter, in August 1982, leaving 9 dead."

Samuels commended Canada which, "Since then, has outlawed the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (to which Diab was allegedly affiliated) as also Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda."

He also drew attention to, "Robert Fadden of Canadian Intelligence who, last year, warned Parliament of Islamist attacks in Canada," claiming "Fadden was soon enough vindicated by the forestalled plot to derail a New York to Toronto train on the Canadian side of the border, and 1 July 2013, Canada Day, when the British Columbia Parliament was targeted by a so-called 'pressure-cooker' bomb attack."

Samuels lamented, "Only last month, a convert to Islam ran over and killed two soldiers in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu. Most dramatic were the 22 October shootings on Parliament Hill, at the War Memorial in Ottawa, killing one soldier and wounding three others. In a video the terrorist had announced that he would be taking action 'in the name of Allah'. "

The Centre vowed to the Minister that, "The trial of Hassan Diab in Paris will grant to many an end to their mourning. It will also set before a new generation the lessons of a dark period in order to confront a new wave of resurgent anti-Semitism and indiscriminate terrorist violence."

"Justice delayed is justice denied! We urge Canada to extradite Hassan Diab to a French Court without further delay," concluded Samuels.

For further information please contact Dr. Shimon Samuels (00) 33 609 70158, 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).