Hassan Diab wages court battle for Canadian citizenship certificate

OTTAWA — Sociology professor Hassan Diab, who spent a decade fighting allegations of terrorism, is now battling in court for a copy of his Canadian citizenship certificate.

The 65-year-old Ottawa academic is asking the Federal Court of Canada to hear his plea for a replacement certificate after waiting 15 months for government officials to issue one.

Diab, who was born in Lebanon, argues the government has a public duty to provide the replacement given his status as a Canadian citizen since 1993.

His original certificate was seized when the RCMP arrested Diab in 2008 in response to a request from French authorities who suspected his involvement in the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue, an accusation he has always denied.

Following lengthy court proceedings, Diab was extradited to France where he spent three years behind bars, including time in solitary confinement.

In January last year, French judges dismissed the allegations against Diab and ordered his immediate release, but his citizenship certificate was not returned to him.

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