A Lebanese-Canadian university professor goes on trial in Paris on Monday accused of an attack on a synagogue more than 40 years ago that killed four people and injured 46 others.
Hassan Diab, 69, is the only person to have been accused in connection with the bomb blast outside the Copernic synagogue in 1980 where more than 300 people were worshipping.
It was the first fatal attack against France's Jewish community since the Nazi occupation of the second world war.
Diab has denied any involvement and said he was studying at the Lebanese University in Beirut at the time of the attack. He will not attend the trial and his legal team will argue he is a victim of mistaken identity.
Bernard Cahen, a lawyer for the victims' families and survivors of the attack, said the trial was welcome.
"It's a positive development that it is taking place even if he will not be there and even if he is acquitted," Cahen said.
The bomb, containing 10kg of explosive, was left in the saddlebags of a rented motorcycle parked outside the synagogue on 3 October 1980. The blast brought the synagogue's glass roof down on those inside who were celebrating the Shabbat, the barmitzvah of three boys, and the batmitzvah of two girls. A synagogue door was blown by the force of the explosion, and shopfronts along 150 metres of road were shattered.
Three passersby were killed and a concierge of the hotel opposite the synagogue died of his injuries in hospital 48 hours later. The attack was timed to hit those leaving the synagogue and a greater tragedy was only averted because the ceremonies were running 15 minutes late.
The then prime minister, Raymond Barre, caused outrage and protests when he said: "This odious attack was aimed at hitting Israelites going to the synagogue but hit innocent French people." This was viewed as suggesting the Jewish worshippers targeted were not innocent. At the time, Barre insisted it was a slip, but before his death in August 2007 he said was unfairly targeted by the "Jewish lobby".
The police investigation focused on Cypriot suspects, Spanish neo-Nazis, the French extreme right and Libyans, but eventually concluded that Palestinian nationalists were behind the bombing.
Diab, a sociology professor in Ottawa, reportedly matched a photofit of the suspected bomber. He was arrested in Canada in 2008 and extradited to France in 2014 where he spent three years in prison, some in solitary confinement, awaiting trial on charges of murder.
French prosecutors claimed he was a member of the special operations branch of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which was believed to be responsible for the attack.
Each time a judge ordered his release because of a reported lack of evidence, the appeal court overruled them.
In 2017, a group of high-profile Diab supporters, including the essayist and environmental activist Naomi Klein and the author Yann Martel, signed an open letter to the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, calling on him to intervene.
Diab was released in 2018 and allowed to return to Canada, but in 2021 a higher French court ordered him to stand trial. Diab's lawyer, Donald Bayne, called the decision "inexplicable" and described it as "injustice piled on injustice".
Amnesty International's secretary general, Agnès Callamard, wrote to France's anti-terrorist prosecutor a year ago asking that all charges against Diab be dropped.
Roger Clark, of Diab's support committee, said the professor was being scapegoated and described the trial as "baseless and shameful".
The trial is expected to last three weeks.