Air India Kanishka bombing perjury trial begins

The only person ever convicted in the 1985 Kanishka bombing went on trial for perjury, accused of lying to protect the alleged suspects who were later acquitted.

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2010, 09:51 AM IST

Toronto: The only person ever convicted in
the 1985 Kanishka bombing went on trial for perjury, accused
of lying to protect the alleged suspects who were later
acquitted.

Inderjit Singh Reyat is on trial before a Canadian court
in the province of British Columbia consisting of a judge and
jury on 19 charges of perjury, and stands accused of lying
under oath in the trial of Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib
Singh Bagri.

Reyat, who served more than 15 years in prison for
manslaughter and making the bombs responsible for the Narita
airport blast and the downing of Air India Flight 182, was
charged with murder alongside Malik and Bagri.

But in 2003, just months before the massive murder trial
began, Reyat pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of
manslaughter, admitting his role in helping to build the
bombs.

Prosecutors told the jury in Vancouver they do not plan
to call witnesses against Reyat.

They will instead have the jury listen to Reyat`s
testimony in court in 2003 and read statements he gave before
appearing as a witness. Reyat had pleaded guilty to helping
construct the bomb, and was called as a prosecution witness in
the murder trial of Malik and Bagri.

Reyat was called as a Crown witness, but then claimed he
could not remember details of the 1985 bomb plot, nor the name
of one of the men involved, which led British Columbia Supreme
Court Justice Ian Josephson to call him "an unmitigated liar".

Three hundred and twenty-nine passengers and crew died
when Air India Flight 182 en route from Canada exploded in
mid-air off the coast of Ireland in 1985.

PTI