He had long blond hair. He had medium length black hair. He was 45. No, 26. He had a stocky build. A slim build. He entered France by train and plane simultaneously.
The shape-shifting Hassan Diab now awaits the verdict in an extradition hearing that has relied precisely upon this kind of evidence.
A handwriting “expert” with 21 hours of training since 1993 provided findings that even the Canadian judge presiding over the hearing, Robert Maranger, conceded was “very problematic, very confusing, with conclusions that are suspect.” But he allowed the evidence in. Exculpatory evidence—fingerprints and a palm print—was left out of the Record of Case by the French authorities trying to extradite him, and the judge refused to permit the defence to produce it.
If they can name highways after people, they ought to name a railroad after Hassan Diab.
As citizens, we do what we can against colossal institutional processes that have nothing to do with justice. Evidence doesn’t matter in Diab’s case. Misrepresentations don’t matter. Only our voices matter when the normal rule of law is effectively abandoned in favour of post-9/11 paranoia.
Natural justice has already been thrown out the window in another case: that of Mohammed Harkat, facing deportation on the basis of secret evidence. (Go sign the Harkat petition against security certificates and secret justice.) Now it’s extradition law misused against our own citizens by a foreign country that won’t let its own nationals be extradited. Stay tuned for further news of Hassan Diab, and get involved. This one isn’t over yet, but it’s the mother of all uphill battles.