Canadian Convicted in 1980 Paris Synagogue Bombing

    Canadian Convicted in 1980 Paris Synagogue Bombing
    Last updated Apr 22, 2023
    Image credit: Reuters [via The Jerusalem Post]


    • On Friday, a Paris court found Lebanese-Canadian professor Hassan Diab guilty in absentia of the 1980 Paris synagogue bombing that killed four people and injured 46 others, sentencing him to life in prison.
    • The judges ruled that Diab planted explosives on a motorcycle that detonated close to a synagogue — where more than 300 worshippers had gathered to mark the end of a Jewish holiday — on Rue Copernic on Oct. 3.
    • An arrest warrant has been issued for Diab, who was first arrested in 2008 and extradited by Canada in 2014. He remained in a French prison for three years but walked free in 2018 as investigating judges were unable to prove his guilt.
    • Though an appeals court later ruled that he should stand trial on terrorism charges, Diab remained in Canada throughout. Meanwhile, he termed the verdict “Kafkaesque” and “not fair,” claiming he's a victim of mistaken identity and was in Lebanon during the attack.
    • The bombing was the first deadly attack against the Jewish community on French soil since World War II.


    Narrative A

    The trial allowed the victims to share the physical and mental trauma they endured during and after the bombing. Though decades of false leads, a lack of hard evidence, and legal wrangling delayed justice, it was ultimately served. Diab is caught up in his denial, but his conviction will serve as a deterrent for future terrorist acts and antisemitic sentiments.

    Narrative B

    Instead of finding the culprit, the French authorities found a scapegoat. The case was flawed and baseless since the beginning, as most of the evidence presented against Diab was based on intelligence sources, circumstantial evidence, and faulty handwriting samples. The conviction of an innocent man is a clear example of a miscarriage of justice.

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