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Paris synagogue bomber convicted after 43 years

More than 42 years after the deadly bombing of a Paris synagogue, a court in Paris has convicted a Lebanese-Canadian university professor of carrying out the attack.

The judges decided that Hassan Diab, 69, was the young man who planted the motorcycle bomb in the Rue Copernic on 3 October 1980.

Four people were killed and 38 others wounded in the bombing.

Diab called his situation "Kafkaesque", Canadian media reported.

He refused to attend the trial but the judges gave him a life sentence.

Prosecutors had argued it was "beyond possible doubt" that he was behind the bombing. His supporters have condemned the trial as "manifestly unfair".

The Rue Copernic attack was the first to target Jews in France since World War Two, and became a template for many other similar attacks linked to militants in the Middle East in the years that followed.

The decades-long investigation became a byword both for protracted judicial confusion, as well as for the dogged determination of a handful of magistrates not to let the case be forgotten.

Diab is a Lebanese of Palestinian origin who obtained Canadian nationality in 1993 and teaches sociology in Ottawa.

He was first named as a suspect on the basis of new evidence in 1999, already nearly 20 years after the killings.


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