Jail Kanishka bomber for 14 more years, court told

Thursday, November 18, 2010

VANCOUVER - Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only man convicted in the 1985 Air India Kanishka bombing, should be locked up for another 14 years for lying under oath during the trial, the prosecution demanded in the provincial court here Wednesday.

Air India Kanishka flight 182 from Montreal to Delhi was blown off mid-air near Ireland on June 23, 1985, killing all 329 people on board.

Within an hour, another bomb meant for another Air India flight from Tokyo to Mumbai went off during luggage transfer at Tokyo airport, killing two baggage handlers.

Both the bombs were planted by Vancouver-based Khalistani extremists to avenge the 1984 army action at the Golden Temple to flush militants.

Reyat, who admitted to testing the bomb that blew off at Tokyo airport, was jailed for 10 years in jail in 1991.

After this, he was given another five years in jail for his role in assembling the bomb that blew off Kanishka. He got out of jail in 2008.

His current perjury trial began last year for lying under oath while testifying during the trial of two other suspects - Vancouver-based Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri - in 2003.

According to the prosecution, he lied 19 times under oath to save Malik and Bagri who were eventually acquitted in March 2005.

Speaking in the court Wednesday, prosecution lawyer Len Doust said if Reyat had not lied in 2003, the two suspects - Malik and Bagri - would have been convicted for bringing down Kanishka.

“He concealed virtually everything of consequence (against the two suspects). The problem is that we don’t know where the evidence would have taken us,” the prosecution lawyer said.

The prosecution lawyer said that even the trial judge before whom he lied under oath had called Reyat an “unmitigated liar.”

But Reyat’s lawyer Ian Donaldson said he would seek only three years for his client.

Both the bombs which blew off Kanishka and exploded at Tokyo airport were loaded hidden in two suitcases at Vancouver airport under the name of ‘M.Singh’ who never travelled with the luggage.

At Toronto airport, the suitcases carrying bombs were transferred to Delhi-bound Air India Kanishka flight and another Tokyo-bound flight.

Filed under: Terrorism

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