Mandatory parole for Air India bomb maker

A convicted terrorist will soon be out of prison and back on Canadian streets.

Inderjit Singh Reyat has been given mandatory parole.

Inderjit Singh Reyat has been given mandatory parole.

A convicted terrorist will soon be out of prison and back on Canadian streets.

Former Duncan resident Inderjit Singh Reyat, who was convicted with a number of offenses in connection to the 1985 attack on the Narita Airport in Japan and bombing of Air India Flight 182 which killed 331 people, has been granted mandatory parole after serving two-thirds of a nine-year sentence for 19 counts of perjury at the trial of co-accused Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri in 2010, with credit for 17 months already served.

Reyat’s testimony during the 2010 trial was part of a five-year-sentence plea deal he made in 2003 in which he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the deaths of the 329 people who had died aboard Air India Flight 182. Reyat had also previously served a 10-year sentence for the deaths of two baggage handlers in Tokyo who were killed when his suitcase bomb, intended for another Air India flight, exploded early.

In a copy of the Parole Board of Canada’s decision, Patrick Storey of the Parole Board of Canada notes that Reyat is required to be released into the community to serve out the remaining third of his sentence at a specific halfway house in an undisclosed location.

In the decision, board member Laura Hall notes to Reyat that “as a result of your committing perjury the co-accused were not convicted of any criminal offences.”

Hall mentions that Reyat was assessed by a psychologist as recently as March 2013 as “presenting a ‘relatively high’ risk for future group based violence.” Reyat also showed “a lack of ‘true empathy and remorse’ for the victims of the bombings,” according to the psychologist’s report.

Hall notes that Reyat has been “selective” in providing information to supervisors during the three sentences he has served and it is “difficult to assess whether there has been a reduction in willingness or preparedness to offend.”

At Bagri and Malik’s initial trial in 2003, prosecutor Robert Wright said the Air India bombing was motivated by Sikh separatists’ desire for revenge for a 1984 raid by the Indian military on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, one of Sikhism’s most sacred sites.

Further, in her report Hall notes that Reyat has acknowledged he was “unhappy with the Indian Government” and knew he was “providing bomb components that would be used to blow something up.” Reyat has also acknowledged that his offences are a result of “association with individuals prepared to use extreme violence in support of religious beliefs.”’

Though Reyat has said he and his family no longer associate with these individuals, Hall notes that Reyat maintained the lies he told in court until as recently as mid-2013 and is “still quite guarded,” having only recently had a “partial” shift to taking some responsibility.

According to the parole decision, a number of special conditions have been placed on Reyat’s parole that will require a “highly structured and monitored release.”

The parole board decision notes to Reyat that there is “little direct information that you have completely disaffiliated from the extremist group you were involved in, and you have been assessed as presenting a high risk for future group violence.”

For this reason the decision to impose a mandatory specific location for Reyat has been imposed. Additionally Reyat is required not to associate with any person who may hold extremist views, nor with anyone involved in criminal or political activity. He must not possess any materials that could be used to make explosives, must immediately report any association with any male to his parole supervisor, must not participate in any political activities, must not access or possess any extremist propaganda and must avoid any direct or indirect contact with victims’ families. Reyat will also be required to receive counselling.

“These special conditions are reasonable and necessary to protect society,” the decision

Cowichan Valley Citizen