Air India bombing case: Judge warns jurors to resist conducting research on Reyat

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Victoria (British Columbia, Canada), Sep.1 (ANI): A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has urged jurors to fight their instincts and resist the temptation to go on the Internet to research the Kanishka (Air India) bombing case of June 1985, as he believes information gleaned could cloud their judgment on the role played by prime accused Inderjit Singh Reyat during the high-profile perjury trial.

In brief opening remarks to the jury Tuesday, Mr. Justice Mark McEwan said doing research on the case would be "absolutely against your oath" and create a problem if the court finds out.

Acknowledging that his admonition was counter-intuitive, he, however, said many people would try to learn more about something new that they were involved in.

"These days, it is so easy to do on the Internet. I tell you in the strongest possible terms to resist the temptation. It is very important to decide only on the basis of evidence in the courtroom," the Globe and Mail quoted Mr. Justice Mark McEwan, as saying.

Nine women and three men have been selected to serve as jury members for the perjury trial.

Reyat is accused of lying under oath 19 times in September 2003, during testimony at the Air India terrorism trial of Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri, the two British Columbian men who were subsequently acquitted of all charges. The charge of perjury was filed in February 2006. However, the trial has been repeatedly postponed.

The bombing of an Air India flight en route from Toronto to London on June 23, 1985, claimed the lives of 329 people.

The trial is slated to begin on September 9. (ANI)

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