Air India perjurer Inderjit Singh Reyat granted release to halfway house

VANCOUVER -- The only person convicted in the 1985 Air India bombings has been granted statutory release from prison to a halfway house.

See Full Article

Inderjit Singh Reyat was charged with perjury in 2006 for repeatedly lying during his testimony at the trial into the bombing deaths of 331 people, mostly Canadians.

Reyat was found guilty in 2010 and sentenced to a record nine years in prison, or seven years and seven months after accounting for time served.

Under the law, offenders must be granted statutory release after they have served two-thirds of their sentence.

Parole Board of Canada spokesman Patrick Storey said Reyat must abide by several conditions as part of his release, including not possessing any extremist propaganda or possessing any components used to build an explosive device.

He is also not allowed to contact victims' families or anyone who is believed to hold extremist views. He will be monitored by a parole officer and must complete counselling.

Reyat is set to serve the rest of his sentence, which ends in August 2018, at a halfway house. Storey said he could not disclose the location of the residence due to privacy legislation.

The parole board ruling for Reyat's release said a psychologist's assessment in 2013 found the man's risk was "relatively high" for future group-based violence and that he lacked remorse for the victims of the bombings.

"The loss of life had a profound and long-lasting impact on the families who lost their relatives in these incidents, and had far-reaching impact on people around the world," the decision said.

"Until recently, you took limited responsibility for your role in this catastrophic disaster, you lied in court and protected others involved."

If Reyat breaches any of the conditions, he can be sent back to prison, Storey said.

A parole officer could also recommend that Reyat be released early from the halfway house.

The eligibility date for Reyat's statutory release is Wednesday. Correctional Service Canada can release him a day early, but spokesman Jean-Paul Lorieau said privacy legislation prevented him from confirming whether Reyat had already left prison.

Bal Gupta, whose wife Ramwati died aboard Air India Flight 182, said Reyat's release is a difficult reality of the justice system for families who lost loved ones so long ago.

"This is justice taking its course and whether we are happy with it or not that's a different issue," said Gupta, of the Air India Families Association.

"Life goes on but this kind of pain, it disappears on the face but inside it will go with us when we go," Gupta said from his home in Toronto.

"Twenty-nine families were completely wiped out -- husband, wife, children, they were all gone. Seven couples lost all their children, and some of them are now in their late 60s or even early 70s. He'll be back with his family but for those people it's a punishment for a lifetime."

Passengers aboard Flight 182 had boarded from Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal before heading to New Delhi on June 23, 1985. The plane was ripped apart by a suitcase bomb off the coast of Ireland.

All 329 people aboard the aircraft died. The Crown maintained the suitcase was loaded onto a plane leaving Vancouver's airport before being transferred to a connecting flight in Toronto.

A second bomb-laden suitcase, destined for another Air India flight, exploded prematurely and killed two baggage handlers in Tokyo.

Ripudaman Singh Malik of Vancouver and Ajaib Singh Bagri of Kamloops, B.C., were acquitted in March 2005 of murder and conspiracy charges in the two bombings connected with state-owned Air India.

The Crown maintained they were seeking revenge for the Indian government's 1984 raid of the Golden Temple as it tried to flush out armed militants from Sikhism's holiest shrine in Amritsar, India.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Feds explore nickel coin's use, but no plans to send it the way of the penny

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- An internal federal analysis shows the government has studied the pros and cons of the nickel -- but Ottawa insists it has no plans to force the five-cent coin into retirement, as it did the penny. Source
  • Sunken B.C. tug's tanks now pumped out, thousands of litres of fuel not recovered

    Canada News CTV News
    BELLA BELLA, B.C. -- More than 90,000 litres of diesel have yet to be accounted for after a group overseeing cleanup of a spill from a submerged tug on British Columbia's central coast said the tanks aboard the Nathan E. Source
  • Children survived Australian theme park accident which killed their parents

    World News CBC News
    Two young children are fortunate to be alive, police said Wednesday, after they were thrown clear and survived an accident that killed four people including their mothers on a river rapids ride at a popular theme park in Australia. Source
  • N.L. premier, aboriginal leaders make progress after Muskrat Falls meeting

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Premier Dwight Ball met for more than 10 hours with indigenous leaders as protesters continued to besiege the delayed Muskrat Falls hydro project in Labrador. Ball says the province and leaders from the Innu Nation, the Nunatsiavut Government and the NunatuKavut Community Council made significant progress in resolving issues surrounding planned flooding of the Muskrat Falls reservoir. Source
  • Gambia becomes third country to announce departure from ICC

    World News CTV News
    DAKAR, Senegal - A third African country, Gambia, says it will leave the International Criminal Court as fears grow of a mass pullout from the body that pursues some of the world's worst atrocities. Gambia announced the decision on television Tuesday night, accusing the court of unfairly targeting Africa and calling it the "International Caucasian Court. Source
  • Aboriginal, environmental groups to sue Canada over Petronas LNG project

    Canada News CBC News
    Aboriginal and environmental groups will file lawsuits on Thursday against the government of Canada to overturn the permit for a controversial $27 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in British Columbia. The lawsuits will name Malaysian state oil firm Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), which owns a majority stake in the project, as an associated party, representatives of the aboriginal and environmental groups told Reuters this week. Source
  • Vatican Cardinal George Pell questioned by police over historic abuse allegations

    World News CBC News
    Australian police flew to Rome to interview a top Vatican cardinal about allegations of sexual assault dating back decades, officials said Wednesday. Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis's top financial adviser and one of his most trusted aides, has long been dogged by allegations he mishandled cases of clergy abuse when he was archbishop of Melbourne and later Sydney. Source
  • Aussie man charged with attempted murder in Miranda Kerr home attack

    World News CBC News
    Los Angeles prosecutors have charged an Australian man in an attack on a security guard outside supermodel Miranda Kerr's home earlier this month. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office says 29-year-old Shaun Anthony Haywood was charged with attempted murder, aggravated mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon on Tuesday. Source
  • Pope Francis’ top financial adviser, cardinal questioned over sex allegations

    World News Toronto Sun
    SYDNEY, Australia — Australian police flew to Rome to interview a top Vatican cardinal about allegations of sexual assault dating back decades, officials said Wednesday. Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis’ top financial adviser and one of his most trusted aides, has long been dogged by allegations he mishandled cases of clergy abuse when he was archbishop of Melbourne and later Sydney. Source
  • L.A. man with arsenal charged with making threats to Islamic centre

    World News CBC News
    A Los Angeles man found with multiple weapons and hundreds of pounds of ammunition in his home was charged with making terrorist threats to the Islamic Center of Southern California, authorities announced Tuesday. Mark Lucian Feigin was arrested last week on the charge, which has been designated as a hate crime, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Source