NEWS

Mother, uncle face extradition for murder of daughter in India

01/09/2012 10:42 EST | Updated 03/10/2012 05:12 EST

The mother and uncle of a young woman killed in India more than a decade ago made their first court appearance in Vancouver on Monday afternoon.

Jassi Sidhu, 25, of Maple Ridge was abducted, tortured and killed in Punjab 12 years ago, shortly after she married Mithu Sidhu, a poor rickshaw driver her family didn't approve of. Sidhu was badly injured in the attack.

On Friday, Malkiat Kaur Sidhu, 63, Jassi Sidhu's mother, and Surjit Singh Badesha, 67, the victim's uncle, were arrested in Maple Ridge The two were taken into custody after the B.C. Supreme Court issued arrest warrants under the Extradition Act and will be held pending an extradition hearing, said RCMP Cpl. Annie Linteau.

The two made a brief appearance in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver Monday afternoon. The case was adjourned until Wednesday.

Extradition law expert Amandeep Singh says he expects the extradition will require a lengthy legal process.

"I would look at this evidence with a lot of suspicion — especially confession evidence," Singh told CBC News. "How was it deduced? Was it under torture, under beatings, was it by sort of bribery? Those are the kinds of questions that are going to come up in this extradition hearing and that's going to take a long time."

Four other people have already been convicted in India for murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with Jassi Sidhu's slaying and the attempted murder of Mithu Sidhu.

The events surrounding Jassi Sidhu's death have been extensively reported by the CBC-TV investigative news programThe Fifth Estate.

Jassi Sidhu met her future husband during a visit to the Punjabi village where her parents were born, but according to court testimony, the man had no money, no property and his only income came from driving a small taxi called an auto rickshaw.

The Fifth Estate reported that Sidhu knew that her wealthy Canadian family would never approve of her choice of husband, so the couple married in secret, enraging some members of her family.

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