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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

BREAKING NEWS ~ Canadian judge issues not guilty verdict in Air India bombing case
Jeannie Shawl at 1:53 PM ET

[JURIST] CBC News is reporting that Ripudaman Singh Malik [CBC News profile] has been found not guilty [CBC News report] on all charges stemming from the 1985 Air India bombing that killed 329 people and resulted in the longest and most expensive trial in Canadian legal history. Malik was also found not guilty of a separate bombing that killed two Japanese baggage handlers. British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Ian Bruce Josephson is currently reading the verdict against Malik's co-defendant Ajaib Singh Bagri. CBC News has extensive background on the bombing and resulting trial.

2:08 PM ET - Ajaib Sing Bagri has also been found not guilty of conspiracy and murder in the Air India bombing. Malik and Bagri were charged [indictment, PDF] with conspiracy to commit murder, first degree murder of the passengers and crew of Air India flight 182, and attempted murder of the passengers and crew. Malik and Bagri were also charged with first degree murder stemming from a separate bombing at a Japanese airport that occurred the same day as the Air India bombing, as well as other conspiracy charges. In issuing his verdict, Justice Josephson said that witness testimony was inconsistent and not credible. The verdict will likely be appealed, and family members of those killed in the bombing are renewing calls for a public inquiry into how the Canadian Security Intelligence Service [official website] and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police [official website] handled the investigation of the attack. CBC News has more. The Law Courts Education Society of British Columbia has established a website for the Air India trial.

2:23 PM ET - The court's reasons for judgment [text] is now available.

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