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Canada court finds Kanishka bomber guilty of perjury

world Updated: Sep 19, 2010 09:52 IST

PTI
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Inderjit Singh Reyat, who admitted his role in helping to build the bomb that destroyed Air India Flight 182, has been found guilty of perjury during the trial of world's deadliest airline bombing that claimed 329 lives.

Reyat showed little emotion as the verdict was read in a Vancouver courtroom after jurors deliberated for more than 20 hours.

The 58-year-old was ordered into custody after he was found guilty of lying under oath in the trial of Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported on Sunday.

Reyat's lawyer, Ian Donaldson, had argued that his client should remain out of custody to prepare for the two-day sentencing hearing on November 17, saying that neither he nor the Crown had found a case of any Canadian convicted of perjury being detained pending sentencing.

Donaldson said Reyat had "complied impeccably" with his bail conditions since being released from custody in July 2008.

"In two-plus years, there has been no suggestion or hint of any breach at all," he said.

While Reyat lived with his family, police visited him regularly and he attended religious services while awaiting his trial, Donaldson said.

British Columbia Supreme Court Judge Mark McEwan, however, ruled Reyat would be immediately taken into custody.

"My view of it is that Mr Reyat has been convicted by a jury of a very serious charge," the judge said.

"[That] persuades me that the administration of justice is best protected and the reputation of the legal system itself is protected by.... Mr Reyat being remanded in custody before the sentencing for which he is presently scheduled."

Air India Flight 182 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland when a suitcase bomb exploded, killing all 329 people on board in 1985.

Most of the people on the plane, which had left Montreal for London, were Canadians.

The tragedy followed a blast about an hour earlier at Japan's Narita Airport in which two baggage handlers died when a suitcase bomb meant for another Air India flight exploded prematurely.

Reyat had served a 10-year sentence for the Narita bombing and pleaded guilty in February 2003 to manslaughter in the Kanishka bombing.