Hassan Diab, whose allegations of involvement in a 1980 synagogue bombing were dismissed by French judges for lack of evidence, listens during a press release on the release of an external review on his extradition by the Justice Department on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Friday, July 26, 2019. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is signalling that Canada will stand up for Diab, an Ottawa sociology professor facing trial in France, following calls from human-rights advocates to intervene. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Trudeau signals support for Hassan Diab as Ottawa professor appeals case in France

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is signalling Canada will stand up for an Ottawa sociology professor facing trial in France, after calls from human-rights advocates to intervene.

France recently ordered Hassan Diab to stand trial for a decades-old synagogue bombing in Paris, a move his lawyer called the latest misstep in a long odyssey of injustice.

Trudeau says the federal government is engaging with officials in France, adding it has been a priority for Canada to stand up for citizens with challenging countries and allies alike.

After drawn-out proceedings that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, Diab was extradited to France, where he spent three years behind bars, including time in solitary confinement.

In January 2018, French judges dismissed the allegations against him for lack of evidence and ordered his immediate release.

Diab, 67, is now back with his wife and young children in Ottawa as his lawyers in France appeal the latest decision.

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