Vancouver (Canada), July 10 : A Canadian judge has granted bail to convicted Air India bomber Inderjit Singh Reyat after he served nearly 20 years in prison, triggering protests from families of the 331 people killed in the 1985 bombings.
Reyat, 55, is the only person to be convicted in the two airline bombings on June 23, 1985. He was ordered freed as he awaits a trial on a perjury charge, scheduled for next January.
Reyat has been in jail since his arrest in England in 1988 and extradition to Canada. He was convicted here in 1991 of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in jail for his role in making a suitcase bomb that killed two workers at Japan's Narita airport as the men transferred luggage onto an Air India plane.
In 2003, Reyat also pleaded guilty to manslaughter for also making a suitcase bomb that exploded aboard Air India flight 182, killing all 329 people aboard, off the coast of Ireland.
The latest charge of perjury relates to his testimony at the terrorism trial of his alleged co-conspirators Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri, who were acquitted in 2005.
Prosecutors in that trial failed to convince a judge the pair was part of a deadly conspiracy to bomb two Air India planes as revenge for an Indian government crackdown on Sikh fundamentalism.