A former Ottawa professor being investigated for terrorism in France has been ordered released from prison for a sixth time, because of insufficient evidence.
But, despite the April 24 order, his supporters in Ottawa are not convinced he will get out.
Hassan Diab, who was a professor at both the University of Ottawa and Carleton, was arrested in Canada in 2008 in connection with a 1980 Paris synagogue bombing. He was extradited to France in 2014 but has not been charged.
On five previous occasions since May 2016, French judicial investigators had recommended that Diab be released. Each time, the prosecutor appealed the recommendation, and each time a presiding judge sided with the prosecutor. The fifth decision came three weeks ago.
The case against Diab I based in part on a handwriting analysis that a Canadian judge called into question during extradition proceedings.
Roger Clark, a member of the Hassan Diab Support Committee, said there is also secret evidence against Diab that has not been disclosed in court.
"The evidence has continued to accumulate that Hassan is innocent and the evidence that was used to prepare to charge him ... has increasingly been shown to be either weak or non-existent," Clark said Wednesday in an interview with Metro.
Donald Bayne, Diab's lawyer in Canada, said he couldn't predict whether his client would be released this time.
"The judge (in the extradition proceeding) called the evidence ... on which the whole extradition turned illogical, problematic," he said. "If that's not unreliable then I don't know what is."
Bayne said the prosecutor's argument for appealing the previous release orders is based on the notion that Diab's release could cause public disorder.
"How could the release of an innocent man, that their own investigators are telling them is innocent, threaten to cause public disorder in France? It's mind-boggling."
A decision on Diab's release is expected be made by the French Court of Appeal on Friday.