Air India Kanishka bomber Reyat appeals against perjury conviction

February 9th, 2011 - 12:43 pm ICT by ANI  

Ottawa, Feb 9 (ANI): Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only convicted man over the bombing of an Air India jet, has reportedly appealed against a perjury conviction in his alleged accomplices’ trial in Canada.

After spending 22 years in jail for his role in the bombing plot, Reyat got an additional nine years last month for lying under oath to save two other suspects Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri during their trial in 2003, the BBC reports.

Reyat was the only person convicted in the bombing. A second bomb, meant for another Air India flight, killed two baggage handlers that same day at Tokyo’s Narita airport.

Both Malik and Bagri were acquitted in the bombing case in March 2005 because of the witnesses’ lack of credibility and a lack of evidence.

The bombings were widely believed to have been carried out by Canadian-Sikhs to protest against deadly attacks on India’s Golden Temple in 1984.

Reyat, an Indian-born electrician with British and Canadian citizenship, was extradited from the UK to Canada in 1989 and jailed pending trial. In 1991, he was found guilty in Vancouver of manslaughter and explosives charges in connection with the bomb that exploded in Japan, and sentenced to 10 years in prison, the report said.

Reyat had been out of prison on bail since 2008 before he was sentenced last month.

Filing his appeal against that sentence, Reyat said the prison sentence was “harsh and excessive” and that the judge had made errors and misdirected the jury. His lawyer has now reportedly asked for a new trial. (ANI)

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