Air India Kanishka bombing: Convict Inderjit Singh Reyat gets 9 years

Vancouver, Jan 8, 2010 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS) Inderjit Singh Reyat, who was the only man convicted in the Air India Kanishka bombing of 1985, was sentenced Friday in Vancouver to nine years for perjury (lying under oath) stemming from his time as a Crown witness during a 2003 trial, reported Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) News on Thursday.

Reyat, who was first convicted in 1991 for manslaughter, was “nothing like a remorseful man” said B.C. Supreme Court Judge Mark McEwan as he passed the sentence, said CBC quoting the judge.

Air India Flight 182 (named after Emperor Kanishka) operating on the Montréal-London-Delhi route was on June 23, 1985 was blown up by a bomb while in Irish airspace.

It crashed into the Atlantic Ocean killing 329 people, including 280 Canadian citizens, mostly of Indian origin, and 22 Indians.

Judge McEwan said the effect of Reyat’s perjury on the outcome of the trial is incalculable, said the CBC News.

Reyat will receive 17 months credit for time spent in pre-trial custody, reducing his sentence to seven years and seven months, the report said.

Reports said investigation and prosecution in the case took almost 20 years and it became the most expensive trial in Canadian history.

The main suspects in the bombing were the members of the Sikh separatist Babbar Khalsa and other related groups.

Inderjit Singh Reyat was the only person convicted of involvement in the bombing, after pleading guilty in 2003 to manslaughter. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for building the bombs that exploded at Narita airport and aboard Flight 182.

Reyat was found guilty of perjury during the 2003 trial of Ripudiman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri.

The two men had been charged with conspiring to blow up Air India Flight 182 on June 23, 1985, and of causing another explosion the same day that killed two baggage handlers at Narita Airport in Tokyo.

Malik and Bagri were eventually acquitted but last year September it was proved that Reyat had lied repeatedly under oath during their trial.

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