On Oct. 3, 1980, someone planted a bomb outside a Paris synagogue as 320 Jews gathered to celebrate Simchat Torah. The explosion killed four people and wounded 46 others. No group claimed responsibility, and the crime remained unsolved.
French detectives believe that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was responsible, and now, 69-year-old Hassan Diab is standing trial for the attack.
The Lebanese-Canadian academic, who claims to be innocent, faces a life sentence. A verdict is expected on April 21, reported the Associated Press. Diab, who lives freely in Canada, is being tried in absentia. He was previously imprisoned for three years in France but was released due to a lack of evidence.
In 2021, a French court ruled that he had to stand trial again.
“It’s a positive development that the trial is taking place, even if he (the suspect) will not be there and even if he is acquitted,” a lawyer for two families of people killed in the bombing told the AP.
A primary piece of evidence is a handwriting sample that prosecutors call a “smoking gun” linking Diab to the bomber.
Diab’s lawyers, however, say the sample was improperly analyzed, and judges have also questioned its reliability, according to CBC News.