Air India bomber gets nine more years for perjuryBy Gurmukh Singh, IANS
Saturday, January 8, 2011
TORONTO - Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only convicted bomber of an Air India plane in 1985, was Friday sentenced by a court in Vancouver to nine more years for lying under oath at the trial. The sentence is the longest for perjury in Canadian legal history.
Air India Kanishka flight 182 from Montreal to Delhi was blown off mid-air near Ireland 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 in Japan, killing two baggage handlers.
Both the bombs were planted by Vancouver-based Khalistani extremists to avenge the 1984 Indian Army assault on the Golden Temple to evict armed Sikh militants who had taken sanctuary there.
Reyat, who admitted to testing the bomb that blew off at Tokyo airport, was jailed for 10 years in 1991. After this, he was given another five years - in plea bargain that he would testify truthfully at the trial of two other suspects - for his role in assembling the bomb that blew off Kanishka. He got out of jail in 2008.
But he lied multiple times during the trial of the two suspects - Vancouver-based Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri in 2003 - leading to their acquittal.
(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)