On Campus

Wife says accused prof is innocent in Paris blast

French police allege U Ottawa, Carleton prof played a role in synagogue bombing

The wife of a university professor accused in a 1980 Paris terrorist bombing says she is confident her husband had nothing to do with the attack.

French police allege Hassan Diab played a role in the blast at a synagogue that killed four people. They are seeking his extradition.

Diab’s wife, Rania Tfaily, herself a university professor, told an Ontario Superior Court hearing on Friday she believes the charges against him are a mistake.

She says she’s prepared to post thousands of dollars in bail.

Diab has been in custody since his arrest last week and is seeking bail as part of his extradition hearing.

Tfaily says their relationship has been strained in the last year, but she still supports him.

“I believe he’s innocent, I’ve known him for some time,” Tfaily told Justice Michel Charbonneau of Ontario Superior Court.

Questioned by federal lawyer Claude Lefrancois, she said she and Diab had discussed political events throughout their relationship including terrorism, the deaths of innocent people and mass murder.

“I know enough of that to realize he would never do such a thing,” she said.

“It is not going to be the first time or the last time that innocent people are accused,” she said.

The RCMP arrested Diab, 55, at the request of French authorities, who submitted affidavits to back their claim of Diab’s involvement in the deadly attack.

The evidence includes claims by French police that Diab used an alias and a false Cypriot passport to enter France in 1980 before buying a motorscooter that carried explosives that detonated outside the synagogue.

The evidence also includes police sketches of the bombing suspect based on witness descriptions, and old passport photos.

– The Canadian Press

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.