Court bails man accused of 1980 Paris synagogue bombing

A Canadian-Lebanese man wanted by French authorities for alleged involvement in a synagogue bombing in Paris in 1980 which killed three people has been granted bail by a Canadian court ahead of his extradition hearing.


AFP - A Canadian-Lebanese man held for allegedly killing four people and injuring 40 in the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue was ordered released on bail Tuesday ahead of his extradition hearing.

Judge Robert Maranger set "very, very strict conditions" on Hassan Diab including that he remain in the home he shares with his partner in Ottawa, and wear an electronic tag.

Diab, a part-time university sociology professor, can only leave the house with one of five people who pledged to guarantee his good conduct and has to abide by a curfew, the judge said. His guarantors posted a 290,000-dollar bond.

Diab, 55, was arrested in November in an Ottawa suburb at the request of French authorities. He is wanted by France on charges of murder, attempted murder and the destruction of property after the 1980 bombing.

Prosecutors had argued during the bail hearing that Diab posed a flight risk as it was alleged he had previously traveled on false passports.

But the defense countered Diab had not sought to flee from arrest, even though he had known for a year, thanks to an article in a French daily, that he was being sought in the case.

In October 1980, a bomb planted in a motorcycle saddlebag outside the Copernicus Street synagogue in Paris killed three Frenchmen and a young Israeli woman, injuring dozens.

It was the first fatal attack against the French Jewish community since the Nazi occupation of World War II.

French authorities issued a warrant in November 2007 for Diab's arrest, following a lead from German intelligence saying he was involved.

In his bail decision, judge Maranger characterized the strength of the case against him was "moderate to high."

He noted Diab's "transient lifestyle," having lived in six other countries in the past 12 years, and his tendency to "not be drawn to long-term commitment."

The prosecution had argued several of his bail guarantors barely know him and Diab had proven himself capable of deceiving his partner by cheating on her behind her back.

Maranger, however, concluded: "I do not believe detention is necessary to maintain confidence in the administration of justice" in this case.

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