AI Kanishka bomber faces fresh trial next month
Air India Kanishka bombing convict Inderjit Singh Reyat, who was released last year will face a fresh perjury trial starting June 22 coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the bombing which killed all 329 passengers.
Vancouver: Air India Kanishka bombing convict Inderjit Singh Reyat, who was released last year after spending 15 years in jail, will face a fresh perjury trial starting June 22 coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the bombing which killed all 329 passengers.
Reyat was the only person jailed in the 1985 Air India bombing by Khalistani extremists to avenge the Indian army action at the Golden Temple to flush out militants in 1984.
The Kanishka flight 182 from Montreal to Delhi was blown off mid-air near the Irish coast June 23, 1985. All 329 passengers, mostly Indian Canadians, were killed, making it the worst aviation attack in history till 9/11 happened.
Another bomb, meant for another Air India flight, also went off at Tokyo airport the same day, killing two baggage handlers.
As the trial court said, Sikh militants had planted both the bombs at Vancouver airport in two unaccompanied suitcases which were transferred to the connecting Air India flight and Tokyo-bound flight at Toronto airport.
After his arrest, Reyat - an electrical mechanic - admitted to testing the bomb that blew off at Tokyo airport for which he got 10 years in jail in 1991.
After this, he was given another five years in jail for his role in the Kanishka bombing.
While in jail that he had agreed to testify during the trial of Air India suspects - Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri - in 2003. But during his testimony, Reyat is said to have lied 27 times, leading to acquittal of Malik and Bagri.
His trial for lying under oath was earlier scheduled to begin in March. But the provincial supreme court here postponed it after dismissing the whole jury of eight women and four men. The jury was dismissed after some `biased` remarks about Reyat by a woman juror.
If convicted, he faces up to 14 years in jail.