Kanishka bomber to be freed as perjury trial delayed | india | Hindustan Times
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Kanishka bomber to be freed as perjury trial delayed

india Updated: Jan 31, 2008 13:44 IST
Vancouver

Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only person jailed in the Air India bombing of 1985, will walk out of prison as a free man on Feb 9.

Reyat, who is completing his five-year jail term that day for pleading guilty to manslaughter in the Air India bombing, was to go on trial for perjury.

But the British Columbia Supreme Court delayed the trial in Vancouver on Wednesday.

The perjury trial had arisen out of Reyat's alleged lying during the trial of Air India bombing suspects, Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri, in 2003.

During his five-day testimony, Reyat is said to have lied 27 times, and the trial ended in acquittal of Malik and Bagri.

Earlier, there was speculation that Reyat had struck a deal with the prosecution to plead guilty to perjury charges in return for a lenient jail term. The maximum jail term for perjury is 14 years.

Justice Patrick Dohm, the associate chief of the British Columbia Supreme Court, said that a fresh date for perjury trial would be set March 7.

Lawyers for either the prosecution or Reyat didn't give any reasons for delay.

Reyat helped Air India plot mastermind Talwinder Singh Parmar to test a bomb that blew off the Kanishka flight 182 June 23, 1985, killing all 329 people on board and another bomb that killed two baggage handlers at Tokyo airport the same day.

Reyat was nabbed after a tuner used in the Tokyo bomb was traced to a shop in his hometown of Duncan in British Columbia. He pleaded guilty to his role in making that bomb and was given 10 years in jail in 1991.

After this, he was jailed for another five years for pleading guilty to his role in making the bomb that killed 329 aboard Kanishka.

It was during his incarceration that he had appeared as a prosecution witness at the trial of Malik and Bagri and allegedly lied as many as 27 times.

This led to the impending perjury trial against him.