News 13 january — 21:44

Former Canadian professor freed from French jail


A former Canadian university professor was freed from a French jail Friday after terrorism charges against him were dropped, Anadolu Agency reports.

Hassan Diab, a Lebanese-Canadian, was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in November 2008 and extradited to France, where he was suspected of participating in a 1980 Paris synagogue bombing in which four people died.

He was charged with first-degree murder and has spent three years in a French prison.

The 64-year-old former University of Ottawa sociology professor has repeatedly said he is innocent and maintained he was in Beruit, Lebanon when the attack took place.

Eight attempts to gain his release failed but Friday, French magistrates ruled there was not enough evidence to proceed with criminal charges.

Donald Bayne, Diab’s Canadian lawyer, said supporters who have worked to get his client released were “elated, relieved and thankful” that the professor is now free.

But his ordeal may not be over – Bayne said Diab’s French lawyers maintained it is almost a certainty that French prosecutors will appeal the decision to free him.

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