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“Where the Court endorsed the concept that Sarah Halimi’s murderer could not be tried because under the influence of narcotics, this time the Court calls for Hassan Diab to face the charges of terrorism....”

Paris, 20 May 2021

The Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, was present nearby the Copernic Synagogue in Paris on 3 October 1980. He had just accompanied Aliza Shagrir – the wife of late cineaste Micha Shagrir – a few minutes before she met her death outside the synagogue. A block away from the explosion, he heard the bomb go off and felt the shockwave.

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At the time, the French government first accused the extreme right, but the fingerprints of the PFLP-Special Operations were clear.

In 2008, Samuels was present in an Ottawa court treating a French extradition request to try Hassan Diab, a suspect in the bombing. The room was packed with Diab fans donning Palestinian scarves, bent on turning the proceedings into an attack on Israel.

Brought to Paris in 2014, Diab used a discharge in 2018 as a window of opportunity to escape back to Canada – while an appeal against him was still pending.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of France demanded the return of Diab from Canada to stand trial in Paris.

“The ball is now back with Canada. If his new extradition to France is refused, Diab must be tried in absentia. After 41 years, the families of the four dead – including Aliza – and forty-six wounded, would finally receive closure,” concluded Samuels.

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#JusticeForSarahHalimi / #AttentatCopernic