A career criminal testifying at the Air India inquiry says he was offered a suitcase full of cash by Sikh militants to blow up the plane but he turned down the offer and instead warned police about the plot months before the bombing in 1985.
Gerry Boudreault testified behind a white curtain as he described a series of 1984 meetings with militants who wanted guns and explosives and were willing to pay him $180,000 to plant a bomb on an Air India flight.
Boudreault, whose identity was not released at the inquiry, has previously testified publicly in an unrelated 1994 hearing that he told police in advance about the Air India plot. Air India Flight 182 exploded and crashed off Ireland on June 23, 1985, killing 329 people.
Despite a criminal record spanning 40 years, Boudreault says he only met with the plotters because he wanted more information to pass on to police. "I wanted to prevent an airplane from being blown out of the sky".
"They wanted somebody who had access to the plane in Montreal so they could put a bomb on it," he was quoted as saying by Canadian daily 'Vancouver Sun'.
He said they showed him a briefcase full of cash, so he knew they were serious.
He said he kept police informed of developments after each meeting with the militants. One Vancouver officer laughed at him and said "that will never happen," Boudreault testified.
Boudreault said police were suspicious of his story because of his criminal record - "I never claimed to be a white angel."