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Joles
16th Mar 2005, 18:15
Almost 20 years after Air-India's Boeing 747 'Kanishka' blew up and crashed off the coast of Ireland on June 23, 1985, killing all 329 passengers and crew, two members of Canada's Sikh community who had been arrested in connection with the crime, have been let off by a court in Canada.

It is believed, by forensic experts, that the explosion was caused by explosives placed in two suitcases in the hold.

Regards
Joles

RatherBeFlying
16th Mar 2005, 19:14
The Judgement (http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/Jdb-txt/SC/05/03/2005BCSC0350.htm)

The judge did not believe the witnesses who claimed to have heard "confessions"a. Mr. B and Mr. A

[1314] I conclude that Mr. B is not a credible witness for these reasons:

1. his evidence of the suitcase conversation with Mr. Malik contains information easily gleaned from the public domain;

2. he did not reveal this conversation for some 12 years after the event;

3. he harboured a powerful motive for revenge after experiencing years of what he perceived to be ongoing and significant deception by Mr. Malik leading to his financial ruin;

4. almost immediately after threatening harm to the person and reputation of Mr. Malik, he first disclosed the conversation to police;

5. he was not truthful when he testified that his motive in coming forward then was his conscience. That rather obvious deception was calculated to enhance his credibility;

6. in the past, he has provided false information under oath when it advanced his own interests;

7. his evidence contained internal inconsistencies; and

8. his evidence conflicted to some degree with that of Narinder Singh Gill and Ms. D.

[1315] Accordingly, I do not accept his evidence describing his conversations with Mr. Malik.

[1316] I also find that Mr. A was not a credible witness. The circumstances in which he came forward are highly suspicious. Having informed no one of his encounter with Mr. Malik for some 19 years, he came forward only after the evidence of Mr. B was related to him by his wife from a newspaper account. The incident he described in his evidence is very similar to that described by Mr. B. That Mr. Malik would approach him so directly in a public place to recruit him to carry a bomb laden attaché case to the airport is implausible in the extreme. He was a near stranger to Mr. Malik and Mr. Parmar. There was little reason to believe that he was a supporter of their cause or could be entrusted with information that, if disclosed, could completely frustrate their plans. There was no preliminary discussion to ascertain wherein his sympathies might lie with respect to their cause, nor any preliminary questions before disclosing the plan as to whether he might be willing to assist in some fashion.

[1317] Mr. A’s evidence is also impossible. The evidence is overwhelming that the area where he said this 1984 conversation took place simply did not exist until 1986. There was no evidence to corroborate his that Mr. Malik ever set up his stall outside the Ross Street Temple prior to the renovations.

b. Ms. D

[1321] Examining Ms. D’s evidence with reference to the other evidence in this case, I find that she has not been truthful with the Court and that I am unable to rely on her evidence. Some of the reasons for this conclusion are as follows:

1. Ms. D’s protestations of love and respect for Mr. Malik throughout 1996 and 1997 lack credulity;

2. Ms. D’s evidence about her motives and purpose in approaching and meeting with CSIS and the RCMP and of her strong ongoing emotional ties to Mr. Malik is undermined to a significant degree by other evidence in the trial;

3. Ms. D was unequivocal during a police interview on November 7, 1997 that Mr. Malik had not made any references to Air India other than his comment during the Cudail Discussion. A number of months later, she first revealed the details of the Newspaper Confession;

4. Ms. D’s explanation for that delay, claiming that the confession was “not evidence”, lacks credulity in light of her having disclosed other similar conversations with Mr. Malik;

5. The core details of the conspiracy that Ms. D testified Mr. Malik revealed to her were in publications in the public domain, with one minor exception;

6. The migration of factual errors from those publications to the information she attributed to Mr. Malik leads to no other reasonable inference than that Ms. D crafted a false confession from those publications;

7. Ms. D’s statements to authorities regarding the apparent reference to the Newspaper Confession in her journal altered when it became apparent to her that the journal reference pre-dated publication of the newspaper article which she claimed led to that confession. Her evidence that her journal entry must relate to another remarkably similar confrontation with Mr. Malik is not believable;

8. The inconsistencies in Ms. D’s accounts of Mr. Malik’s reference to Air India during the Cudail Discussion make it unsafe to rely on this evidence;

9. Regarding the Anashka conversation, the combination of late disclosure, evolving versions of the story, inconsistencies, lack of recall, and clear evidence that the incident could not have happened during the time period she described, leads to the conclusion that it did not occur as she described;

10. Ms. D first revealed her conversation with Mr. Malik about Mr. B after she had met and spoken with the latter, and was inconsistent with respect to what Mr. Malik had told her regarding the contents of the suitcase.

[1322] The concerns regarding the Newspaper Confession alone, which are addressed more fully in the Reasons for Judgment, raise serious issues with respect to her veracity and motivations. Having found that Ms. D was not truthful with respect to the core of her testimony against Mr. Malik, it would be wholly unsafe to rely on her other evidence tending to incriminate him.

1337] Beyond these global concerns with respect to Mr. C’s credibility as a witness, an examination of each of the instances in which he testified to having heard incriminating remarks by Mr. Bagri reveals further credibility difficulties, including the following:

a) Mr. C raised the post-MSG Convention statement for the first time in February 1997. Despite having provided his FBI handler, Mr. Ron Parrish, with information regarding Mr. Bagri over the course of their four year informant/handler relationship, he never once mentioned this particular conversation. He also failed to mention it to the FBI in July 1992 in a detailed statement about this meeting at his residence.

b) Mr. C’s evidence regarding the most inculpatory of Mr. Bagri’s alleged statements, “Why the **** they bother you. We did this”, contains external and internal inconsistencies. The evidence as a whole suggests that the window of opportunity for this alleged conversation between Mr. C and Mr. Bagri was a weekday after September 11 and shortly before September 25, 1985. Mr. Bagri’s work records reveal that he worked every weekday in September, thereby rendering his attendance in the New York area on a weekday highly unlikely. The possibility of a meeting occurring during this time frame is also undermined by Mr. C’s contradictory testimony that he related Mr. Bagri’s incriminatory statements to his roommates upon arriving home from Avtar Singh’s gas station but that his roommates had dispersed shortly after an FBI raid on their apartment. This latter event had taken place in late July.

The evidence of Mr. Parrish does not substantiate Mr. C’s testimony about this important conversation in any material way. He testified that during a debriefing on September 25, 1985, Mr. C told him of an in-person meeting with Mr. Bagri during which the latter had stated that his group was responsible for the Air India/Narita explosions. Mr. Parrish’s only record of this information was a telex to FBI Headquarters in which he referred to his source having heard from several members of the Babbar Khalsa that the Babbar Khalsa in Vancouver was responsible for the Air India/Narita explosions. He testified that he had drafted the telex obliquely to protect the identity of his source. According to Mr. Parrish, Mr. C did not disclose the details of that meeting, such as it having occurred at Avtar Singh’s gas station at the end of September 1985 and the names of some of those who had also been present, until July 1989.

Mr. Parrish, clearly a conscientious and diligent agent, testified that he had not made any accurate record of the information Mr. C had provided in September 1985, nor had he shared it with his supervisors. The evidence of former FBI agent Jack Cloonan revealed the extent to which Mr. Parrish’s handling of this apparent revelation of responsibility for one of the worst acts of aviation terrorism to have ever occurred departed from standard FBI protocol. However, it is not necessary to reconcile Mr. Parrish’s certainty regarding the level of information Mr. C had revealed on September 25, 1985 against his inability to adequately explain the unlikely manner in which dealt with that information since the only effect of his evidence is to eliminate the possibility of concoction by Mr. C after that date. The evolution of Mr. C’s account of the gas station conversation even on Mr. Parrish’s evidence undermines even that limited purpose.

c) Mr. C’s recollection of the other three statements he attributes to Mr. Bagri was poor at the time he related them to the RCMP, often interchanging and confusing them. It is clear that they are not firmly etched in his memory to any sufficient degree such that it would be safe to rely on his evidence with respect to them.

[1338] Accordingly, even in the absence of a Vetrovec caution, I find Mr. C’s evidence not to be credible.

b. Ms. E
Thus, proof of Mr. Bagri’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt rests upon hearsay statements for which there is no reliable confirmatory evidence. These statements were provided on a confidential basis and not under oath by a person who falsely claimed loss of memory when testifying. When one adds to this the inability of the defence to conduct an effective cross-examination on significant issues surrounding those hearsay statements, I conclude that, even without turning to the need for a Vetrovec caution, a reasonable doubt arises with respect to the ultimate reliability of Ms. E’s hearsay statements to Mr. Laurie.

ATNotts
17th Mar 2005, 10:01
So far as I understand it, no one has been "let off".

Canada has a legal system where the accused are innocent until proven guilty, presumably the same premise under which the Indian system works.

They were tried, and found not guilty.

Anything wrong with that?

Konkordski
17th Mar 2005, 10:19
Agreed ATNotts.

Personally I'm not convinced the guy banged up for Lockerbie was guilty either.

Ignition Override
21st Mar 2005, 02:28
Konkordski: Was "he" one of the two Libyan intelligence agents who were reportedly responsible?

Blacksheep
21st Mar 2005, 03:34
The point about putting bombs in aeroplanes and other places such as Omagh High Street, is that it is almost impossible to discover the exact identity of those responsible. They are by definition, cowards.

If an organization doesn't actually claim responsibility, and many organizations don't, it can be even be very hard to know the reason for the attack. No-one ever claimed responsibility for Pan Am 103 or the World Trade Centre and the organization behind the Air India bombing never revealed their 'cause' either.

Konkordski
22nd Mar 2005, 07:56
Ignition:

Allegedly. And for all I know he might have been guilty as charged...I've just never felt the case was proven beyond reasonable doubt. From what I understand, there's a number of relatives of those on board PA103 who feel the same.

rsoman
24th Mar 2005, 05:42
To the folks in the TOWERS

I am not the originator of this thread (who had originally posted in rumours and news forum as i understand). And I am also aware of the "definition" of Jet Blast which states to the effect that topics which do not fit into other categories are placed here.

But I wonder whether this post on the sad incident which woke up the aviation fraternity to the magnitude of the terrorist incidents on aviation (not to speak of the fact that this incident remains one of the worlds major disasters) is not relevant to any other forum - if nothing else in the Rumours and News Forum itself.

This was an incident which jolted a nation (the same way as Lockerbie and 9/11 did to US and UK) and it would have been nice if a little more sobriety was exercised before shifting the topic out to Jet Blast!!!

RatherBeFlying
24th Mar 2005, 11:42
A frequent refrain in R&N is "Wait for the official report"

Strange that the eventual disposition ends up in JB.

Then when the very thorough official report on China Airlines B747 Crash (Merged) was finally issued, the thread ended up on Spectators Balcony (Spotters Corner)

rsoman
25th Mar 2005, 04:12
It is not just "strange" it is an outright insult. To a whole nation , to people who lost their near and dear in their incident and whose wounds have been reopened by the conclusion of a sham of an investigation and above all to members of this community a few of whom were colleagues of the crew who lost their lives in the incident!

But then it was an Air India aircraft crashing harmlessly in the deep sea carrying a plane load off people of mostly Indian origin!!! And it happened long long before PPRUNE even got of the ground, So very much yesterday's news to some and apparently this treatment!

Never mind the security issues, a lot of which if plugged could have possibly avoided Lockerbie not to speak of 9/11.

But then burying the topic in JB among music quizzes and poll taxes, and American side dishes, who cares.!!!