Air India Kanishka bomber apologies to victims' families

Vancouver (Canada), Nov 19(ANI): Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only man convicted in the 1985 Air India Kanishka bombing, has offered an apology to the families of the 329 victims of the bombing.

According to the Globe and Mail, Reyat's letter of apology was read out by his lawyer, Ian Donaldson, at his sentencing hearing on a conviction for perjury on Thursday.

"No words in any language can ever bring closure to those who have lost loved ones as a result of the Air India and Narita tragedies. Neither can words bring back those who perished in such tragic circumstances. I sincerely apologize to each and every one of the victims who have been left with such grief of burden to bear," Reyat said in the statement.

Reyat was convicted of perjury in September after a jury ruled that he had made untruthful statements during the 2003 Air India trial of Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri, who were acquitted of masterminding the bomb plot.

Both Malik and Bagri were acquitted of all charges, but Crown prosecutor Len Doust has said that the outcome of the trial might have been different if Reyat had told what he knew about the Air India disaster.

The 58-year-old, who will be sentenced on January 7, faces up to 14 years in prison.

Reyat was earlier sentenced to five years in prison for manslaughter in connection to his role in acquiring bomb parts used in the explosive device that brought down an Air India Flight 182.

Flight 182 had crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland after leaving Montreal on June 23, 1985, killing 329 people.

Reyat also served a 10-year sentence for a blast on the same day at Tokyo's Narita airport, where two baggage handlers died when a bomb-laden suitcase exploded before it could be transported to another Air India plane, which was carrying 250 passengers. (ANI)

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