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Kanishka bombing: Reyat to remain in jail

A Canadian parole board said Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only man to be convicted in the Air India bombing, was still a threat.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2006 18:50 IST

Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only man ever convicted in the 1985 Air India bombing that left 329 people dead, would be kept in jail for two more years, after a Canadian parole board ruled that he remained a threat to the community.

At a hearing in the Collins Bay Institution in Kingston, Ontario, where Reyat is being held, the three-member National Parole Board on Friday did not pay heed to Reyat's claims that he was no longer the "young and naive" terrorist who helped orchestrate the worst mass killing in Canadian history.

"We have decided to detain you," lead Board member Michael Crowley told Reyat. "We found you today to be evasive and contradictory in your responses and, as a consequence, in our view, (to) have little credibility."

Crowley said 53-year-old Reyat tried to play down his role in the bombing of Air India's Kanishka flight off the coast of Ireland on June 23, 1985, and rejected his claim that he was duped into participating in the plot.

"You have minimalised your role in this horrific crime," Crowley said. "You chose to commit this offence; you were not fooled into it." The board said it would be "difficult or impossible" to safely supervise Reyat if he was released into the community.

The victims' families and a Corrections Canada official argued that Reyat should not be released and the panel agreed to keep him behind bars.

Because he has served two-thirds of his five-year sentence, Reyat was automatically due for parole in June. Those opposing his release had to convince the panel that Reyat was too dangerous to be released.

First Published: Mar 04, 2006 18:50 IST