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French authorities drop terrorism charges against Lebanese-Canadian professor Hassan Diab

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Published: 11:10 GMT, Jan 13, 2018 |
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French authorities drop terrorism charges

French authorities have dropped terrorism charges against a Lebanese-Canadian who was suspected of taking part in an attack in Paris in 1980 and have ordered his immediate release.

But Hassan Diab’s legal ordeal may not be over just yet, with an appeal of the decision very likely and the fact he doesn’t have travel documents to get home, his Canadian counsel said Friday.

That said, Diab’s Ottawa-based lawyer, Donald Bayne, says supporters are “elated, relieved and thankful” at the news.

Bayne believes Diab, 64, is on a no-fly list, so it’s unclear when he could return to Canada.

“He’s been found to be, in effect, an innocent man in France who is not a French citizen who does not currently have Canadian travel documents and who is probably (or almost certainly) on a no-fly list,” Bayne said in an interview.

“But he’s in a much better position today than he was yesterday in a prison — but he’s not at liberty, as a normal citizen would be, to hop on a plane and come home.”

Diab was accused in the terrorist attack on a Paris synagogue and has been imprisoned in France for three years.

But French magistrates ruled Friday the evidence against Diab was not strong enough to warrant a referral to criminal court.

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