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Inderjit Singh Reyat



NRI convicted in the 1985 Air India bombings free on a $500,000 bail


Surrey,Vancouver, July 11, 2008
Satinder Randhawa

NRI Inderjit Singh Reyat, 56, the only man convicted in the 1985 Air India bombing has been released on bail after 20 years in custody for his role in the terrorist attack. He was posted a $500,000 surety for his bail. He has been in custody since his arrest in 1988.

He was convicted in 1991 and served 10 years for manslaughter for the deaths of two Tokyo airport baggage handlers who were killed the same day Air India flight 182 went down. The bomb that killed the two men was planted on another Air India flight by the same conspirators responsible for flight 182 but it went off while the jet was still on the ground because the flight had been delayed. He was later charged with 329 counts of manslaughter in connection with the Flight 182 bombing, but pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter and one count of aiding in the construction of a bomb, and was sentenced to five more years. He has served both sentences in full, but was being kept in custody because of the pending perjury trial.

The Secretary of state for Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney said:

  • Today my thoughts are with the families of Air India victims, who must now reconcile Mr. Reyat's newfound liberty with the immensity of their own loss.
  • Mr. Reyat faces trial on the “very serious charge of perjury,” adding that perjury “strikes at the core of our legal system and its search for the truth.”

Wally Oppal, B.C. Attorney-General said:

  • The conditions of release “are about as strict as you can get."
  • Crown has agreed to the release of the conditions of Mr. Reyat's bail, but it was not clear Thursday whether Mr. Reyat's lawyer, Ian Donaldson, would sign off on disclosing the material to the public.
  • The conditions "extremely strict," there is no curfew, electronic monitor or ban on associating with others in the Sikh separatist movement that motivated the June 1985 plot to bomb two Air India flights.

Publication ban: There is no details of the terms of his bail, amount of sureties and the conditions of his release

Reversing a ruling by B.C. Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice, Patrick Dohm who deny him bail in March, the appeal court summoned media lawyers to a special session to release both Reyat's conditions and the court's reasons for allowing the bomb-maker out on bail. This decision was surprise and made upset all family members of the 329 victims of the Air India bombing.

Risa Levine, an appeal Court Justice said this decision of her colleague Justice Anne Rowles to maintain the judiciary's "principle of openness."

Almost 14 conditions were imposed before the bail announcement:

  • The sniffing dogs will be allowed to search the Surrey home of Inderjit Singh Reyat every week "to ensure compliance with the firearms and explosives prohibition"
  • He will not be allowed to possess "any firearm, crossbow, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition, or explosive substance"
  • No restriction on meeting Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri, the two men acquitted
  • He will be under virtual house arrest.
  • Allowed to work, go to appointments and attend "one place of religious observance, as approved in advance by his bail supervisor."
  • He must also "present himself at the door of his residence for any bail supervisor or police officer who attends for the purpose of confirming his compliance with these terms."
  • He has orders to report to his bail supervisor once a week and must remain in B.C.


He is accused of lying 27 times during his testimony against Malik and Bagri when he was called by Crown witness. The trial for those charges is set for January 2009. If convicted again, he faces a maximum sentence of 14 years.






Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only man ever convicted in the Air India bombings of 1985, leaves the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam, B.C., after his bail was posted on Thursday. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)