Strict bail for ac­cused in Paris bomb­ing

Ottawa Citizen - - City - BY KATE JAIMET

Has­san Diab, who stands ac­cused of mur­der­ing four peo­ple in a 1980 syn­a­gogue bomb­ing in Paris was granted bail Tues­day un­der strict con­di­tions that in­clude elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing, a cur­few, and a prom­ise not to leave his home un­ac­com­pa­nied, among oth- er things.

“It's al­most a vir­tual house ar­rest,” said On­tario Su­pe­rior Court Jus­tice Robert Maranger, who made his de­ci­sion af­ter a five-day bail hear­ing.

Un­der the con­di­tions im­posed by Maranger, Diab must live with his com­mon­law spouse, Ra­nia Tfaily, at her Ottawa res­i­dence and may only leave it for work, le­gal or med­i­cal ap­point­ments — and then only if ac­com­pa­nied by Tfaily or one of the four other peo­ple who put up a com­bined $250,000 in bail. Diab must also: wear an elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing bracelet;

obey a cur­few from 9 pm to 7 am;

not hold or ap­ply for any pass­port or travel doc­u­ments;

re­port to the RCMP once a week; not own a cell­phone; re­main in the Ot­tawaGatineau re­gion; and

keep the peace.

Fol­low­ing the judge’s de­ci­sion, Diab was es­corted back to the Ottawa Car­leton De­ten­tion Cen­tre to be fit­ted with an elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing bracelet and will be re­leased within the next 48 hours.

“In Canada, a ci­ti­zen has the right to rea­son­able bail,” said Maranger, cit­ing the Cana­dian Char­ter of Rights and Free­doms. “It ap­plies with equal force to all Cana­di­ans, re­gard­less of their coun­try of ori­gin.”

Diab, 55, was born in Le­banon but ob­tained Cana­dian cit­i­zen­ship in 1993. He has led a fairly no­madic life, hav­ing lived in six dif­fer­ent coun­tries over 12 years. He has left be­hind a string of mar­riages, divorces, and com­mon-law re­la­tion­ships, and has fa­thered two chil­dren over the past two decades.

The judge said the strict bail con­di­tions were nec­es­sary to mit­i­gate the risk that Diab would flee the coun­try be­fore his ex­tra­di­tion hear­ing to France to face charges of mur­der, at­tempted mur­der, and de­struc­tion of prop­erty. The date for that hear­ing has not yet been set.

“In my view, the risk of flight … is a real con­cern in this mat­ter,” Maranger noted in his de­ci­sion.

“He is not a per­son who has spe- cific long-term roots or fam­ily ties in this coun­try … The con­cern here, to put it bluntly, is that if Mr. Diab were to some­how make his way back to Le­banon … he could for­ever avoid ex­tra­di­tion.”

How­ever, in Diab’s favour, Maranger noted that he has no crim­i­nal record and that he did not at­tempt to flee the coun­try be­tween the time he be­came aware that he was a sus­pect in the Paris bomb­ing in the fall of 2007, to the time of his ar­rest on Nov. 13, 2008.

Maranger em­pha­sized that while the strength of the Crown’s case against Diab was “moderate to high,” the ev­i­dence still had to be ex­am­ined in an ex­tra­di­tion hear­ing.

“In my view, this is not a case where ex­tra­di­tion is a rub­ber stamp or a fore­gone con­clu­sion,” said Maranger, who will also pre­side at the ex­tra­di­tion hear­ing.

Af­ter the de­ci­sion was de­liv­ered, Diab’s com­mon-law wife smiled and hugged sup­port­ers.

Tfaily has agreed to let him live at her res­i­dence, to ac­com­pany him on out­ings, and to no­tify the po­lice if he breaches any of his bail con­di­tions.

Dur­ing the bail hear­ing, Tfaily tes­ti­fied that al­though she no longer loves Diab, she still cares about him and be­lieves he is in­no­cent.

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