'My freedom and my life were stolen from me,' says Diab, suing over extradition

Hassan Diab speaks at a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, April 13, 2012. (File/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Ottawa sociology professor Hassan Diab says his decade-long fight against accusations of terrorism has left him with chronic stress, depression and insomnia.

Diab, his wife and two young children filed a statement of claim in Ontario Superior Court today seeking tens of millions of dollars from the federal government over his extradition to France, where he spent three years behind bars.

Diab, 66, accuses the government of negligent investigation and malicious prosecution and says federal officials violated his constitutional guarantees of freedom of movement, liberty and security of the person.

The assertions, first outlined in an initial notice last month, have not been proven in court and the federal government has yet to file a defence.

The RCMP arrested Diab in 2008 in response to a request from French authorities who suspected his involvement in the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue, an accusation he has always denied.

He was extradited to France following lengthy court proceedings, but in January 2018 French judges dismissed the allegations and ordered his immediate release.