BRITISH COLUMBIA

Inderjit Singh Reyat, Air India Bomb Maker, Loses Appeal Of Prison Term

03/13/2014 12:54 EDT | Updated 05/13/2014 05:59 EDT
CP
VANCOUVER - Convicted Air India bomb maker Inderjit Singh Reyat has lost the appeal of his prison sentence for perjury in connection to his testimony at the bombing trial.

A B.C. Appeal Court panel rejected the suggestion by his lawyer, Ian Donaldson, that the prison term should be cut to six or seven years.

"The sentencing judge properly weighed negating factors in the appellant's professed remorse and his behaviour in prison," Judge Edward Chiasson said on behalf of the panel during a brief hearing Thursday.

"The judge did not err in finding that denunciation was the proper governing factor in the circumstances of this case.

"The offence was grave, and in comparison to other perjury cases, the sentence imposed was not unfit. The appeal is dismissed."

Reyat was given a nine-year sentence for lying 19 times during the trial that resulted in an acquittal of the two men accused of the 1985 airliner bombing that killed 329 people.

Donaldson told the appeal court that Reyat— who has spent most of his adult life in prison — was remorseful about the bombing deaths and gained nothing when he lied at the trial.

Crown lawyer Len Doust told the appeal hearing last November that he doubted the man's remorse, saying Reyat behaved in the witness box like a man still committed to a cause.

Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri were acquitted in 2005 of murder and conspiracy charges by a B.C. Supreme Court judge.

In the middle of the murder trial, Reyat pleaded guilty to manslaughter for supplying the bomb parts and testified during the trial.

Doust told the appeal court hearing that Reyat may not have planned an elaborate lie, but he did intend to obstruct the truth.

"He was completely evasive, in my submission, in regard to the whole issue of who made the bomb, and how the bomb was made ..." Doust told the hearing.

Also on HuffPost

New Delhi Bombing February 2012