French-Jewish Leader: Release of Paris Synagogue Bomber ‘Scandalous and Irresponsible’
The head of the umbrella organization for French Jewry expressed outrage on Tuesday, following the decision to release a key suspect in a terrorist attack on a Paris synagogue in 1980, the Hebrew news site nrg reported.
According to the report, CRIF president Roger Cukierman condemned the release of Hassan Diab, a 62-year-old Lebanese Canadian who was extradited to France and imprisoned in November 2014 for the bombing attack on the French-Israeli Union Liberale, in which four people were killed and another 46 wounded.
Cukierman, who said that Diab’s arrest and extradition had been signs of “justice and the determination to combat terrorism,” called the announcement of his release “scandalous and irresponsible.”
“It is an insult to the victims and their families. And it will be translated as France’s weakness in the face of terrorism,” he said.
Diab was arrested in Canada in 2008, on the basis of German intelligence gathered during the years following the bombing. Three years later, in 2011, a judge in Ottawa agreed to a French request to extradite him, so that he could be put on trial for murder.
At the time of the terrorist attack, French security services determined that Diab was a member of the terror group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — something he continues to deny.
But this week, he was released on bail from a French prison, after his ex-wife provided him with an alibi. Diab, who has maintained his innocence since the Oct. 3, 1980 bombing, had taught sociology at two universities in Ottowa.