Extradition has always been a touchy subject, but Hassan Diab’s case shows that the current extradition act in Canada is not performing as it should.
Hassan Diab languished in a French prison for years, before which he spent 6 years fighting the extradition law in Canada unsuccessfully. The case highlights the problems with the way extradition works.
Extradition is necessary to ensure that people cannot just run away from a country to avoid prosecution. The issue is that extradition can be in bad faith as well. Hassan Diab is a university professor who had terrorism charges levied on him by France. The Canadian government agreed to extradite him, which resulted in the decade-long ordeal that Hassan just came out of.
The problem with the current act is that it does not properly specify what the foreign government needs to get extradition approved. The French government was not required to even give a sworn testimony to request extradition of Hassan Diab, and Hassan could not fight the case even though he was adamant that he was innocent.
After all these years the French government has dropped all terrorism charges against Mr. Hassan, claiming that they no longer want to prosecute him. This after Mr. Hassan has already spent around a decade fighting the charges. The problem is that France had no case ready for Mr. Hassan, and he was never tried for the charges that were levied on him.
He is a Canadian citizen and people are concerned that foreign governments can get Canadians extradited without even having a proper case on them.
The Liberal government accepted that the law had failed, and posted a statement which says “The minister of justice and attorney general of Canada always works to ensure that all federal laws are consistent with the Charter, the rule of law, and the highest standards of justice and fairness,”, “The minister is seeking guidance from her officials regarding the effectiveness of existing protections in the Extradition Act, and has asked them to look at any lessons learned in relation to this case.”
Benjamin Diaz started working for Debate Report in 2017. Ben grew up in a small town in northern Ontario. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife a year later. Benhas been a proud Torontonian for the past 10 years. He covers politics and the economy. Previously he wrote for CTV News and the Huffington Post Canada.