convicted in the 1985 Air India bombings free on a $500,000 bail
Surrey,Vancouver, July 11, 2008
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
- 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
- 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 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
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
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
- 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.