In an astonishing miscarriage of justice, a court in British Columbia yesterday sentenced a man convicted of complicity in the bombing of an airplane that killed 329 people to five years in prison for manslaughter. The defendant, Inderjit Singh Reyat, was one of three Sikhs who bombed an Air India flight, killing all aboard, in 1985.
Reyat’s defense, apparently, was that while he did “procure explosive devices,” he “was never told the bombs would be used to down a plane.” Instead, he thought the bombs were “to be used in India to blow up a car, a bridge or something heavy.” Oh, that’s all right then.
The presiding judge acknowledged that Reyat’s actions “had consequences that were tragic almost beyond description,” and added:
“It’s imperative that on a day like today, we not forget those who are not with us. Those 329 people are very much on our minds.”
I’d hate to see Canadian judges when they get forgetful. The court considered as a mitigating factor what actually should have been an aggravating factor: Reyad was already serving a ten-year sentence for another fatal bombing. He could now be eligible for parole after serving 18 to 24 months.
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