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Air India Suspects Found Not Guilty 2005/2022 Update

Like it or not the accused do have the right to a fair trial and if convicted they should be convicted on evidence and proof that leaves no doubt not because of 20 years of monetary waste, a new building and bungled investigation.

Hear hear.

I agree that a fair trial should be granted to everyone convicted under the law. But they have spent an awful lot of my money on this one case. My money. Your money, all of our money....and for what? To find that certain evidence was not gathered properly? And therefore is not admissible in court?

Would justice be more served if the evidence was allowed resulting in a conviction? As opposed to the justice being less served, and not allowing the evidence, releasing back into society, 2 individuals responsible for the deaths of over 300 people.

(Addition after rereading my post) A point on that last statement, justice would be less served if the police were not allowed to stop your car and ask if you have been drinking, which in the past some have viewed as a violation of section 9 of the Charter of rights, The right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned. But the courts ruled that justice is more served to have people stopped, or in some cases detained while you are asked if you have been drinking, to quell the evil of drunk driving. It's just a comparison to say how the courts respond to an act, or a ruling, or a violation of ones rights to see how justice is better served. By no way am I making an argument that the admission or in admission of evidence is the same as being stopped in your car. It is just an example of why the courts determine how justice is better served.

I guess if a public enquiry is held, we will find out just how the evidence was collected, how truly credible or non-credible the witnesses were. More money, more time, less justice, more pain. And adding insult to injury for the remaining family members.
Stirling N6123 said:
releasing back into society, 2 individuals responsible for the deaths of over 300 people.

That is the whole point.  They were not found to be responsible.
But ... in R.v. Stillman the court also ruled that inculpatory evidence obtained in violation of the Charter ought to be considered by the trial judge when such evidence is clear and convincing and without which a conviction could not be obtained and that not to admit such evidence would violate public policy by bringing the administration of justice into disrepute by letting a violent offender enjoy freedom while putting the public at further risk. [notice the victim plays no role in this legal construct.]

To use plainer terms from contract law, an accused is not entitled to unjust enrichment from a Charter based defence.  Is it not true that in pith and substance, the Charter is really a contract which governs the relations between citizen and state?

whiskey601 said:
To use plainer terms from contract law, an accused is not entitled to unjust enrichment from a Charter based defence.    Is it not true that in pith and substance, the Charter is really a contract which governs the relations between citizen and state?

Whiskey - you are hurting my brain....as I wander yet again into the vast fields of my own ignorance.

How was the accused enriched by the Charter based defence?


I agree, If I can take an excerpt from the supreme court decision, RvStillman..... Lamer J, "A decision to admit or exclude evidence under s. 24(2) is essentially a matter of weighing all the relevant circumstances and balancing those favouring admission against those favouring exclusion. In the end the judge must decide whether, viewed objectively, admission or exclusion will do more harm to the repute of the administration of justice."

If the judge in this case determind that specific evidence, gained by the RCMP and CSIS was truly inadmissible, then the judge has his or her reasons for disallowing it to be entered in as evidence. Obviously, the judge must have felt that justice, and the public at large would be less served to have the evidence allowed, than it would have to allow the evidence.

The point is PPCLI,  not that they were found NOT responsible......it's HOW were they found not responsible. Merely saying that a witness is not credible, and disallowing certain pieces of information is not good enough in my mind. And for the government to say that an inquiry is not needed is Hogwash.

Money well wasted.
You are familiar with the term " ...demonstrably reasonable in a free and democratic society."

I held Stillman out as an example of a conviction in the face of a clear violation of a Charter Right v- the right to be free from an unreasonable search. The case was a serious criminal matter- while the accused was in custody and before he was charged, the police removed a kleenes from a garbage can in the washroom of a police station. The accused was charged with an offence and the best evidence of the Crown was DNA evidence obtained from the kleenex. The defence argued the DNA sample was not given voluntarily and was obtained without a warrant. The trial judge agreed (I believe). The case was appealed by one side or the other all the way to the Supreme Court. There, the court ruled the sample was obtained illegally and clearly violated the Charter, and that the method of obtaining the sample could not be saved as being demonstrably reasonable etc. This is because a warrant could be obtained for a blood sample.

However, the court ruled that the conviction should stand because to release the accused based on the exclusion of such clear and convincing evidence [i.e. a blood sample obtained with a warrant] would have produced the same inculpatory evidence as that upon which the accused was convicted. The court ruled that because the accused committed such a horrible offence, it would be an affront to the administration of justice to let him go unpunished. This is analogous to unjust enrichment- obtaining the benefit of that which one is not entitled to under a bargain or contract.

The Charter lays out the ground work for how an accused is to be treated by the state. The accused is entitled to raise a Charter defence, but not always entitled to a Charter victory due to the wrongful actions of the police. An truly monstrous accused would be unjustly enriched by stifling the truth. Justice is not always the dark side of the law, or something like that.  

In summary, a violation of the Charter by the state does not operate as an automatic get out of jail free card, it never has and it never will- there will always be exceptions. How would anybody ever be convicted if every defence invoking the Charter was succesful?  
Personally I find the outcome truly disgusting, and sends a message throughout the world, that terrorism pays in Canada. What a joke the justice system is, and quite frankly that judge should hang his head in shame. Seriously, just who's side is he on anyways.

These murdering cowards may have gotten away with it now, but justice will come in the afterlife!

Truly disgusted,


whiskey601 said:
In summary, a violation of the Charter by the state does not operate as an automatic get out of jail free card, it never has and it never will- there will always be exceptions. How would anybody ever be convicted if every defence invoking the Charter was succesful?  

Thanks - now I understand.

I guess, like many, I have to rely on the judicial system to "do the right thing", all while "doing the thing right".  In most cases, I am quite happy to do that - and in reality, I lack the background or influence to change that fact.  But, given the extent to which I apply critical analysis to so many other facets of life, I guess it behooves me to know more about the working of the judicial system - especuiially if i am going to publically support it.

Thanks again for the succint explanation.  I learned something today...

We're wimps



WHAT A WIMPY country Canada has become -- and that's putting it gently. When Palestinian terrorists murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, Israel sent Mossad to track down and eliminate the assassins.

It wasn't "law," but it sure was "justice." Rough justice.

When Libya sponsored terrorism and gave sanctuary to terrorists, U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1986 unleashed F-111 fighter jets to attack Col. Khadaffy -- which persuaded the tyrant to cool such behaviour.

After 9/11, President George W. Bush took action against terrorism (while Canada urged restraint).


After the bomb on Air India flight 182 killed some 320 Canadians in 1985, Canada waited 20 years -- then found the accused "Not Guilty."

This is not to say that Canada should have emulated Mossad and gone after the perpetrators, but a 20-year hiatus resulting in a "not-guilty" verdict is an obscenity of another sort.

Platitudes about "law" being more important than "justice" don't wash in this case.

Twenty years later and a trial of almost two years and a not-guilty verdict that cost $125 million-plus is outrageous and scandalous.

So what went wrong? Why was the Crown's case against Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik so weak?

The answer: Feuding between CSIS and the RCMP.

In 1985 the Canadian Security Intelligence Service had replaced the RCMP Security Service, which was deemed to have discredited itself with "dirty tricks," barn burnings in Quebec and such.

This was largely a fabricated scandal, with several simultaneous inquiries to discredit the Mounties. When it was learned that RCMP Security had been surreptitiously checking mail and bugging suspects for some 40 years, the government and others were horrified.

The fact that RCMP clandestine surveillance wasn't used to hinder careers or discredit people was ignored - and from my viewpoint showed impressive restraint and discretion.

They were trying to protect the nation.

When CSIS was formed, the greatest threat to Canada was Soviet subversion. People like me, who tended to trust RCMP Security (which was never allowed to prosecute and convict a single Soviet agent since the Gouzenko days) felt CSIS would be pathetically vulnerable to KGB penetration.

CSIS recruited bilingual university graduates. It takes little imagination to realize it'd be easier for the Soviets to penetrate CSIS than RCMP Security, whose members had to go through the rigorous boot camp training.

Put bluntly, the RCMP didn't trust CSIS.

And CSIS elite tended to feel superior to RCMP "horsemen." There was little mutual confidence.

RCMP friends have told me they were reluctant to use evidence gathered by CSIS at trials because CSIS didn't necessarily abide by rules and defence lawyers could more easily get it thrown out.

CSIS, too, was reluctant to share information with the RCMP -- hence the destruction of almost 75% of the taped interviews and evidence in the Air India case.

CSIS supposedly had a mole inside the Sikh terror group, but pulled him out during the planning of the bomb because it didn't want him implicated. True or not, this indicates a mind-set.


The RCMP Security Service was always better than it is given credit for. It was politics that prevented prosecutions and convictions of spies.

In those early days, CSIS was inept -- except for the RCMP Security types who switched services. That may help explain some of what went wrong in this fiasco of a trial.

Now there are calls for an inquiry.

What's the point? How many Canadian inquiries have ever amounted to much? The Somalia Inquiry was called off when it embarrassed the government.

In Canada, inquiries are often a means of diffusing attention and distracting criticism.

It all adds up to the reality that we really are a wimpy country that postures but isn't taken seriously.


Normally when I post a news story I do just that and don't comment...However this time I feel the urge to say a few words.

After reading the article above I am left agreeing completely with Peter Worthington's view of how "fluffy" Canada has become.

We have, it seems, come to a place in the modern world were we (the Canadian public) believe that its BAD to fight wars.

The ending of life regardless of the reason is too horrible a thing to contemplate, and so, must never happen.

This is the worst kind of wishful thinking.

We (the Canadian public) hold ourselves morrally superior to the United States...Despite the fact that they have given us a near-perfect security umbrella for so many years and are the only reason that we have not yet been attacked in the current conflict (insert method of choice here)

A recent event in my life served to illustrate this quite literally...Coffee with my cousin Katie ( a monthly ritual in my world) Katie is as different from me as, say, apples and potato chips.

She is a delight to be with, offering her older cousin (Katie is 24) a glimps into the world of dance, street festivals (she majored in dance at university and is now trying very hard to make a career out of what she enjoyes doing more than anything in the world) and the youth culture of today.

As we sit in an Avante Gard coffee shop along the "strip" in the Beaches area of Toronto, we discuss many things both family oriented and other.

The talk eventually turnes to war, as she is as interested in my world as I am in hers.

During the couse of the conversation I ask her; "Katie, what do you think of the the United States invading Iraq?"

"Oohhh that George Bush," she says, with passion aflame in her pretty green eyes and her slim dancer's body springing erect with indignation, "He's so stupid!"

More shocked than anything I asked her why she thought so?

"Well...He just goes around invading whomever he pleases! Imagine if he decided to invade us!" (I'm now paraphrazing somewhat)

When I explain to her that it is unlikely to happen as Canadian society is not suffering at the hands of a psycotic dictator and his ruthless extended family, she insists that no matter the what it was wrong and he shouldn't have been allowed to do it. (invade)

Eventually we went on to a different topic, she stubbornly stuck on the wrongness of violence directed at evil people. Me shaking my head and hoping like hell she never has to find out that she's wrong.

As she continued to speak about the things that are important to her I wondered what will happen to the Katies of the country when (not if) we are attacked.

How many Katies will be buried because the Government of the day lacks the will to stand up to the Canadian pulic and, more importantly, the Canadian press, and tell them what needs to be done...That this Garden of Eden we live in is every bit as vulnerable as the United States is...And will, eventually be struck at, the same as everyone else has been.

I look at Katie, who looks so cute and cuddly, sitting in a comfy overstuffed chair next to a fireplace in the trendy coffe shop we're presently inhabiting, and wonder how many more times I'll be able to have coffee with my cousin in peace...Before IT comes...

A famous person from 19th century America (Ben Franklin I believe) said that the Tree of Liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots, as freedom isn't ever free...

In Canada we seem to have forgotten...

Slim :cdn: :salute:
Peter is blunt in his remarks, too the point and often not wrong.

I feel like I have been put in my place regarding my previous post of needing an inquiry. The way he puts it, he has a valid point. 20 years, foot dragging, spending good hard money and as echoed by previous posters, for what?

I am starting to think we need someone in Ottawa that can take this country by the horns, and start to lead us in some sort of direction. Other than into the wasteful, political boondogglers we have become.

C B C . C A  N e w s  -  F u l l  S t o r y :
Unsealed documents name Bagri and Malik as Air India conspirators
Last Updated Wed, 23 Mar 2005 21:14:51 EST
CBC News

VANCOUVER - One week after the acquittals in the Air India trial comes new information that both Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri were named as members of the plot by the wife of the only person ever convicted in connection with the case.

    * INDEPTH: Air India

Ajaib Singh Bagri

Inderjit Singh Reyat, called "an unmitigated liar" by a judge, is still the only person tried and convicted in connection with the deaths of 329 people on an Air India flight in 1985, as well as the deaths of two baggage handlers in Tokyo. He has always refused to name his co-conspirators and has always claimed that he really feels for the victims.

"In my mind, I never, ever hurt anyone, never will," Reyat said in a 1998 interview.

"You know, I'm scared to kill a fly. How can I take people's life, innocent people? Those people that die on the plane, they [were] related to me, as well. They [were] like my family, I really felt for them."

But Satnam Reyat, who refused to testify at the trial after receiving threats so serious that, at one point, the RCMP had to remove her from her home and take her to a secret location, has named Bagri and Malik as co-conspirators.

Her story emerges from hitherto secret documents filed at Vancouver's courthouse by the RCMP in a bid to question Satnam Reyat in an investigative hearing under Canada's new anti-terrorism law.

.The documents, only unsealed after last Wednesday's verdict, include a sworn affidavit by RCMP Sgt. Daniel Bond that lays out some startling revelations that were never heard in court

Bond's affidavit says Satnam Reyat knows the inside story because, he says, she told a friend that both Malik and Bagri were involved in the bombing. The RCMP quote Mrs. Reyat as saying it was Bagri and the late Talwinder Singh Parmar - the ringleader of the plot - who recruited her husband.

She's also quoted as saying Reyat "promised ... that he would do the project and wouldn't talk about it" and that Reyat made that promise at a meeting attended by Malik.

Finally, Bond says, Mrs. Reyat received repeated threats, called the RCMP for protection and refused to testify at the trial.

Susheel Gupta, who lost his mother on Air India Flight 182, says the "affidavit shows the RCMP had more evidence, but it never got to the judge because of intimidation."

Some of the information in the RCMP's affidavit comes from wiretaps, some from the RCMP itself and some from what Satnam Reyat said to her friend, who is the unidentified 'Mrs. X' who testified that Malik confessed his involvement in the bombing to her.
Ripudaman Singh Malik

'Mrs. X' was not asked about hearsay, or what she heard from Mrs. Reyat, so the judge never heard it. What he did hear, though, was that Mrs. Reyat received generous financial support of over $100,000 from Malik.

Mrs. Reyat lived rent-free at the Malik's Khalsa Primary School in Surrey. She also received free schooling for her four children, as well as free legal advice , plus cash and cheques from Malik.

The Crown called that "hush money." The judge disagreed, but the families of the victims had no doubts.

However, it makes little difference whether Satnam Reyat refused to testify because of money or threats. The RCMP say they are considering pressing on with investigative hearings under the Anti-terrorism Act in the hope of getting new evidence, and she might not be the only one called.

But the verdict is in and the judge never heard the story that might have been told by the bombmaker's wife.

Copyright ©2005 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - All Rights Reserved
One has to wonder if the balance between procedure and seeing justice served is a bit off or not.   Are we still being served by a system which, although it follows principles of due process, allows the guilty to walk free in the face of evidence that points to their culpability?
If the public only knew.........no I shouldn't say that, most Canadians only seem to care when the crime had something to do with themselves.
If there is one thing my job has shown me its that the whole Judical system in Canada is broken.......
What is the quote??  Better a 100 guilty men go free rather than 1 innocent go to jail...
Gunner said:
What is the quote??   Better a 100 guilty men go free rather than 1 innocent go to jail...

I guess that is some sort of utilitarian debate - is it better to have 100 victims (of crimes not avenged) then 1 victim (a false accusation)? 

With the system we have now, people still go to jail unjustly (Guy-Paul Morin, etc, etc) and yet we allow procedure to let people walk around when the evidence of their guilt is in plain view.
I think what really bothers people in cases like this is when the obviously guilty are freed in order to maintain principles of fair justice, and not because of a lack of practical proof of guilt.

I think most agree that these guys were probably guilty, along with Parmar and Reyat, but were freed because to convict them would contravene some important principles of justice.

What's more important? Does the number of people killed, or the fact that until 9/11 this was the worst act of air terrorism in history mitigate the importance of maintaining those principles? Or should we maintian them no matter what?
I think most agree that these guys were probably guilty, along with Parmar and Reyat, but were freed because to convict them would contravene some important principles of justice.

What's more important? Does the number of people killed, or the fact that until 9/11 this was the worst act of air terrorism in history mitigate the importance of maintaining those principles? Or should we maintian them no matter what?

....you really need to see exactly how much evidence is not allowed at most trials, it is disturbing. The principles you speak of are fair as written but have been contaminated by years of rulings, that then set precedences, that then become the principles, that then get contaminated by years of rulings, etc, etc, etc,....untill most evidence is tossed long before the trial even starts,.....money talks and guess which side the money is to be made on?
I'm thinking this is the right place for some closure.
  Air India bomb-maker gets 9 years for perjury
article link

VANCOUVER — Convicted killer Inderjit Singh Reyat — the only person ever found guilty for his role in the Air India bombings — was sentenced Friday to nine years in prison for lying at the trial of two others who had been accused in the attack, which killed 331 people.

Reyat was convicted in September of one count of perjury for lying throughout his testimony at the 2003 terrorism trial of Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagrim, who were ultimately acquitted of murder in the 1985 bombings.

The nine-year sentence is believed to be the longest yet handed down for perjury in Canada.

Reyat has spent much of the past 20 years in jail for his involvement in the attacks.

He was convicted in 1991 of manslaughter for building a suitcase bomb that exploded at Tokyo's Narita Airport. It killed two baggage handlers who were attempting to load it onto an Air India flight. He received a 10-year sentence.

Reyat was then charged with murder in 2001 for his role in the Air India bombing, which killed 329, many of whom were Canadian.

He struck a plea bargain for a five-year sentence and another manslaughter conviction, which included a provision he testify truthfully at the Air India trial of two others.

But in September 2010, a B.C. Supreme Court found Reyat guilty of lying on the stand. The Crown charged he had deliberately misled the Air India trial 19 times, and thus had voided his plea agreement.

At a court hearing in November, Reyat, through his lawyer, expressed regret for the suffering of everyone "who lost loved ones as a result of the Air India and Narita tragedies," but failed to apologize for his subsequent lies.

                        (Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act)

BBC is reporting that Rapudiman Singh Malik - one of the two men acquitted of the 1985 Air India bombing has been killed in a targeted shooting in Surrey, BC.

Man acquitted of bombing 1985 Air India flight shot dead in Canada

    • Published
      7 hours ago
Sikh activist Ripudaman Singh Malik (centre) smiles as he leaves a Vancouver court March 16, 2005, after being found not guilty in the 1985
Image caption,
Sikh activist Ripudaman Singh Malik (centre) was found not guilty in the 1985 bombing of an Air India flight
A man acquitted over the bombing of a 1985 Air India flight has been killed in a suspected targeted shooting in Canada, police say.
Ripudaman Singh Malik was shot dead in his car in Surrey, British Columbia, and police found a burnt-out vehicle nearby.
Mr Malik denied involvement in the terror attack that killed 329 people.
He was acquitted in 2005 but police were accused of having bungled the investigation.
The bombings - widely believed to have been carried out by Canadian-based Sikhs in retaliation for India's deadly 1984 storming of the Golden Temple, the holiest shrine in the Sikh religion - remain Canada's deadliest terror attack.
Following a two-year trial, Mr Malik, a Sikh businessman and co-accused Ajaib Singh Bagri were acquitted of mass murder and conspiracy charges related to the two bombings.

Canadian police have said they are still working to determine the motive behind the targeted killing of Mr Malik.
Air India flight 182 from Canada to India blew up off the Irish coast, killing all 329 people on board - most of them Canadian citizens visiting relatives in India - on 23 June 1985.

About the same time, a second bomb exploded prematurely in Japan, killing two baggage handlers.
Mr Bagri and Mr Malik were accused of planting the bombs on board the plane.
But the prosecution case turned on the reliability of key prosecution witnesses, who claimed the accused had privately confessed to involvement in the bombing.