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Canada Air India Perjury Trial Set To Begin


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
A jury of nine women and three men was selected Tuesday to hear the perjury case against a key witness in the Air India bombing —and they were cautioned by the judge not to research the high-profile case.

After the 12 were selected from a pool of more than 150 potential jurors, B.C. Supreme Court Judge Mark McEwan told them: "I'm telling you in the strongest possible terms: Don't.

"It's very, very important in a jury case that you decide only on the evidence given," he said, adding it would be easy for them to turn to the internet for some background on the Air India trial.

The 12 will determine whether Inderjit Singh Reyat lied during the trial of two men accused in the Air India bombing of 1985.

Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik faced mass murder and conspiracy charges linked to the deaths of 331 people. They were acquitted in March 2005 after the judge concluded the Crown's witnesses were unreliable.

Reyat, who testified in 2003, was charged with perjury in 2006, accused of lying 27 times during the trial.

Everyone aboard Air India Flight 182 died when it crashed off the coast of Ireland after leaving Toronto on June 23, 1985. The plane went down about an hour after two baggage handlers were killed in Tokyo when a suitcase bomb meant for another Air India plane exploded prematurely at Narita airport.

Second jury selected

Tuesday's jury selection was the second time around for Reyat's perjury trial.

A jury had been chosen and was prepared to start hearing testimony in March, but they were immediately dismissed after one of them made some undisclosed remarks.

The trial, now scheduled to start Sept. 9, is expected to last up to 10 days.
Most of the 19 allegations in the indictment, which haven't been proven in court, relate to Reyat's insistence he did not know or remember major details of the bombing plot or know the name of one of the men involved.

During the trial, the Crown maintained B.C.-based Sikh extremists targeted government-owned Air India planes in retaliation for the Indian army's decision to storm the Golden Temple in Amritsar in June 1984 in an effort to root out Sikh militants holed up in the religion's holiest shrine.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/08/31/bc-reyat-perjury-jury.html#ixzz0yK35r0LT
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