06/06/2011 11:15 EDT | Updated 08/06/2011 05:12 EDT

Hassan Diab, Ottawa Professor Accused Of Bombing Paris Synagogue, Cleared For Extradition


THE CANADIAN PRESS -- OTTAWA - A judge has committed an Ottawa sociology professor for extradition to France to face bombing charges.

The decision by Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Maranger means Hassan Diab is a step closer to being tried for murder in the 31-year-old terrorism case.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson will have the final say.

French authorities say Diab was involved in the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue that killed four people and injured dozens of others.

The RCMP arrested Diab, a Canadian of Lebanese descent, in November 2008 in response to a request by France.

He denies any role in the deadly attack.

Maranger concluded France had presented "a weak case" that makes the prospect of conviction "unlikely." But he said Diab must be surrendered under the terms of Canada's extradition law.

Stamps in Diab's 1980 passport indicated he was not in France at the time of the bombing.

But his handwriting allegedly appears on a hotel registration card -- evidence his lawyers have vigorously disputed.

Still, Diab's supporters were not hopeful in advance of the court ruling.

"The judge has signalled that he is likely to rule in favour of committal because Canada's extradition law does not allow him to discard the handwriting evidence," the Diab support committee said in a statement.