Good conduct helped `Kanishka’-Narita airport bomber Reyat get bail

Air IndiaVancouver, July 12: Good conduct and the fact that he had not committed perjury, helped Inderjit Singh Reyat, one of the main accused in the bombing of an Air India plane in 1985, as well as a related explosion at Japan's Narita Airport in luggage destined for another Air India flight, get bail.

According to a Globe and Mail report, a British Columbia Court of Appeal judge concluded that perjury was not an offence that warranted denial of bail, and that the only man convicted in the 1985 bombing had been a model prisoner who would respect strict bail conditions.

On Friday, the Court of Appeal allowed the release of Reyat, overturning a British Columbia Supreme Court ruling that had denied Reyat bail on charges of lying as a witness at the 2003 trial of two other men, Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri, charged in the bombing of the “Kanishka” that claimed the lives of 331 people.

With little explanation aside from a brief reference to the court''s commitment to the “principle of openness,” Madam Justice Risa Levine of the appeal court announced the release of the 32-page document in a hearing on the issue that lasted about two minutes.

The disclosure was made less than 24 hours after Reyat, a former resident of Duncan, British Columbia, walked out of custody for the first time in more than 20 years.

Reyat''s 14 conditions include 500,000 dollars in sureties and staying at a family residence in Surrey except for such commitments as visiting his bail supervisor, lawyer''s office, court, doctor or a place of “religious observance” approved in advance by his bail supervisor.

He must also remain in British Columbia, not possess any weapons, including explosives, and allow RCMP officers, including members of the canine unit trained to detect explosives, to visit his residence up to once a week if requested.

A total of 331 people were killed in the bombing of Air India Flight 182 on June 23, 1985, as well as a related explosion at Japan''s Narita Airport in luggage destined for another Air India flight.

Sikh militants who were against the government of India were linked to the bombings.

Reyat''s release Thursday stirred up a furore among family and friends of the bombing victims. (ANI)