Belfast Telegraph

Air India bomber guilty of perjury

The only person convicted in the 1985 Air India bombing that killed 329 people off the coast of Ireland has been found guilty of perjury during the trial.

The British Columbia Supreme Court jury found Inderjit Singh Reyat guilty of lying under oath during his testimony in the trial against his alleged co-conspirators in the plot.

Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik were acquitted of first-degree murder and conspiracy in 2005 after a trial lasting almost two years.

The maximum sentence for perjury is 14 years in jail, but sentences are more routinely in the range of two to three years.

Flight 182 from Montreal, Quebec, to Heathrow, London, disappeared from radar off the Irish coast on June 23, 1985, when a bomb exploded and killed all 329 people on board.

Reyat was convicted for his role in gathering materials for the bomb and was sentenced to five years in jail after pleading guilty to manslaughter in February 2003.

He was charged with perjury in 2006. He has been out of prison on bail since July 2008.

Prosecutor Len Doust told jurors that Reyat did not tell the truth under oath to minimise his involvement in the bombing and to protect people who conspired to bomb the two Air India planes.

An hour before the bombing of Flight 182, a bag destined for another Air India flight exploded at Tokyo's Narita Airport, killing two baggage handlers.

During the terrorist trial, prosecutor Robert Wright maintained that the bombing was revenge by Sikh separatists for a deadly 1984 raid by Indian forces on the Golden Temple at Amritsar - Sikhism's holiest shrine.

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