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AI bombing convict completes sentence

Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only person convicted in the case, completes his manslaughter sentence but is not released as he is awaiting a fresh trial on perjury charge.

india Updated: Feb 10, 2008 11:39 IST

Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only person convicted for the 1985 Air India bombing, completed his manslaughter sentence but was not released as he is awaiting a fresh trial on perjury charge.

Reyat, 55, was escorted from Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford to a Lower Mainland jail on Saturday to await his perjury trial, which is now scheduled in British Columbia Supreme Court for March 7. But Reyat is hoping to be released on bail.

Roger Cutler, of the attorney general's ministry, confirmed on Sunday that Reyat has applied for bail, and March 4 has been fixed to hear that application.

"He was kept in a federal institution while completing his manslaughter sentence which came to end. And then he still has to deal with the perjury matter and he is in custody while awaiting that," Cutler said.

"The (arrest) warrant would have been issued way back then." Families of the Air India victims were contacted last month and told Reyat had agreed to plead guilty to perjury for lying at the trial of two others accused in the terrorism plot.

But Reyat appears to be intent on going to trial on the allegations he lied repeatedly in September 2003 when he was a Crown witness against Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik. Both men were later acquitted. Reyat's lawyer, Ian Donaldson, was not available to comment.