An extradition hearing had, temporarily, been scheduled to begin in January 2010. However, on December 18, 2009, the Crown Attorney (representing The Attorney General of Canada) requested an adjournment of the hearing to review the defence evidence. The next possible date for the extradition hearing was to have been June 2010.
The judge hearing the case stated that he wanted to start the flow of evidence soon, and suggested that he was becoming weary of delays by the French government in presenting its case. The hearing was scheduled to begin on November 8, 2010.
On May 17, 2010, the hearing scheduled to begin June 14, 2010 was again delayed after France disavowed the evidence of two handwriting experts discredited by the defence. The Crown planned instead to introduce evidence from a third, new French handwriting expert, who found a "very strong presumption" that Diab was the author of the hotel registration card. Kent Roach, the expert defence witness, accused the French government of "dragging its feet," "cherry picking evidence" and "bootstrapping" by requesting a delay while justice officials in Paris gather more evidence. Defence council called the Crown's new plan "absolutely scandalous". He went on to say, "At the 11th hour and 59th minute they withdraw their entire handwriting case and substitute a new case."
Diab's lawyer also accused French authorities of finding a new handwriting expert in an attempt to save their case after the two they originally used were discredited by four defence handwriting experts, including a former RCMP document examiner. On December 6, 2010, the presiding judge ruled to allow the testimony of three more defence handwriting experts, but said that he would not necessarily give it any weight in his final analysis.
Former RCMP forensic document examiner, Brian Lindblom, was retained by the defence and testified on December 13, 2010 on the handwriting analysis submitted by France's new, and third examiner, Anne Bisotti. Stating that the new report submitted by the Crown was "often confusing and incomprehensible", Lindblom criticized the mandate given Bisotti, by Magistrate Marc Trévidic. Trévidic instructed that the analysis be done to "'determine if he (Diab) is certainly or may be the writer.' There appears to be no room for an objective consideration of the possibility that the author of the sample material may not be the writer; he is presumed to be the writer." "The mandate is designed not to seek objective evidence," Lindblom testified. Bisotti's handwriting analysis was the third sent to the court after France disavowed two previous analyses when the defence demonstrated their unreliability.
Read more about this topic: Hassan Diab
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