Ajaib Singh Bagri

A bail hearing for two men charged in the 1985 Air India bombing will begin Thursday in B.C. Supreme Court.
The application for bail was filed at the Supreme Court registry at Vancouver late Friday afternoon by lawyers for Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri.
Geoffrey Gaul, an official with the team of Crown lawyers prosecuting the case, said the hearing is set for two days.
The bail hearing will be the first indication of what is contained in the massive file prepared over two years by the Crown team before Malik and Bagri were charged Oct. 27 in the bombing of Air India flight 182.
But as in most bail hearings, a ban on publication of evidence will likely be requested and granted.
The pair, both Sikh separatist leaders in B.C. for years, were charged with eight counts of murder, attempted murder and endangering an aircraft in connection with the Air India bombing, which killed 329, and another blast at Tokyo's Narita Airport an hour earlier that killed two baggage handlers.
The RCMP have alleged Malik and Bagri were part of a conspiracy hatched in B.C. to blow up two planes from the Air India fleet belonging to the Indian government. The bombings were said to be in retaliation for a bloody attack a year earlier by the Indian Army on Amritsar's Golden Temple, Sikhism holiest shrine.
RCMP have said they intend to arrest other B.C. suspects in the bombing, though no additional charges have been laid so far.
Two others were named in the original police charge information as unindicted co-conspirators: Inderjit Singh Reyat is serving a 10-year-sentence for manslaughter in connection with the Narita bombing, and Talwinder Singh Parmar, was murdered while in the custody of Punjab police in 1992.
Malik and Bagri have made two brief appearances in Vancouver provincial court.
kbolan@pacpress.southam.ca

Bail hearing for Air India suspects subject to publication banUpdated 6:08 PM ET December 21, 2000VANCOUVER (CP) - Crown prosecutors began reviewing evidence in court Thursday during a bail hearing for the two men accused of the bombing of an Air India flight that killed 329 people.
But B.C. Supreme Court Justice Patrick Dohm issued a publication ban on the evidence, standard in a bail hearing. Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik have been in custody since they were arrested Oct. 27.
About 50 people filled the courtroom to hear the application, including Malik's son and people who lost family and friends in the tragedy
The hearing is scheduled for two days but could stretch into next week.
Bagri, 51, and Malik, 53, are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder of those killed when Flight 182 went down off the coast of Ireland on June 23, 1985.
It remains the worst mass murder in Canadian history.
Malik, a Vancouver millionaire, and Bagri, a Kamloops, B.C., mill worker, face eight counts in total, including the murders of two baggage handlers killed when a bomb exploded at Tokyo's Narita airport an hour before Flight 182 went down.
The bomb that exploded at Narita was destined for Air India Flight 301, and the men are charged with the attempted murder of its passengers and crew.
Bagri is also charged in a 1988 assassination attempt on the publisher of the Indo-Canadian Times, Tara Singh Hayer, an outspoken critic of Sikh extremists. Hayer was murdered in 1998.
Neither Malik nor Bagri was in court Thursday.
A seldom-used metal detector was operating at the entrance to the courtroom and several sheriffs were on hand.
Also named as unindicted co-conspirators in the bombing plot are Talwinder Singh Parmar, leader of the militant Sikh separatist group Babbar Khalsa, and Inderjit Singh Reyat.
Parmar was killed by Indian police in October 1992.
Reyat was convicted of manslaughter in 1991 and sentenced to 10 years for his role in the Narita bombing.
Police have said there will be more arrests.
RCMP believe the bombs originated in Vancouver and targeted Air India flights in retaliation for the Indian army's raid a year earlier on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, the Sikh religion's holiest shrine.
Even prior to the bombings, security forces were concerned about Sikh militants based in Canada and bent on the creation of the separate Sikh homeland of Khalistan.

Air India bombing suspects not in court as bail hearing begins

Kim Bolan Vancouver Sun
Ward Perrin, Vancouver Sun / Leaving the courtroom during a break in the Air India bail hearing were Perviz Madon and son Eddie Madon (right). Perviz' husband and Eddie's father -- Sam Madon -- died in Air India bombing.

Perviz Madon and her two children arrived at B.C. Supreme Court about half an hour before a bail hearing was set to begin Thursday for two men charged with killing her husband and 328 others aboard Air India Flight 182.
Madon, whose husband Sam died a day before his 41st birthday, said she felt compelled to attend the hearing for Ripudaman Singh Malik, 53, and Ajaib Singh Bagri, 51.
"We have to be here. I just need to be here," Madon said, flanked by son, Eddie, and daughter, Natasha, both now young adults. "We will try to come as much as possible, as is practical in our everyday lives."
Neither Malik nor Bagri appeared in court Thursday, although 14 lawyers representing the Crown and defence teams were there.
Justice Patrick Dohm imposed a publication ban on the proceedings at the request of defence lawyers Bill Smart, representing Malik, and Richard Peck, whose client is Bagri.
Malik and Bagri face eight charges each in connection with an alleged conspiracy to kill more than 500 people by placing bombs aboard two Air India jets in June 1985.
The murder charges against them relate to the 329 aboard Flight 182 who perished and two Japanese baggage handlers who died while unloading a suitcase at Narita Airport that was being transferred to another Air India flight.
The two are also charged with attempted murder of the passengers of the second Air India plane, Flight 301, as well as conspiracy to commit murder and endangering an aircraft.
Bagri faces an additional attempted murder charge in connection with the shooting of newspaper publisher Tara Singh Hayer in 1988, who was paralysed in the attack. Hayer, who was to be a Crown witness in the Air India case, was eventually murdered a decade later. No one has been charged in his murder.
Two of Hayer's children, Dave Hayer and Rupinder Bains, also attended the hearing.
But most of the 50 people gathered to watch Crown prosecutors begin laying out evidence were supporters and relatives of the two accused men, both Sikh separatist leaders well-known in B.C.
Security was tight outside courtroom 55: a metal detector was in place and several armed sheriffs wearing bulletproof vests hovered around the entrance.
They asked Sikhs carrying kirpans -- ceremonial daggers -- to surrender them at the door.
The supporters included Malik's wife, Raminder, and their three oldest sons -- Jaspreet, an articling student, Hardeep, who runs the family's hotel in Harrison Hot Springs, and Darshan, a student.
Police have said there will be more arrests in the case, the most extensive and expensive investigation ever undertaken by the RCMP.

Bail hearing for Air India bomb suspects to continue next weekUpdated 8:33 PM ET December 22, 2000VANCOUVER (CP) - Crown prosecutors finished laying out the factual foundation of their case Friday against two men charged for bombing an Air India flight that killed 329 people. The evidence, presented during a bail hearing for Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik, is subject to a publication ban. None of it can be reported. The hearing will continue Thursday.
Bagri, 51, and Malik, 53, have been in custody since they were arrested Oct. 27.
The men are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder after Flight 182 went down off the coast of Ireland on June 23, 1985.
Most of the victims were Canadian and the bombing remains the worst mass murder in Canadian history.
Malik, a Vancouver millionaire, and Bagri, a Kamloops, B.C., mill worker, face eight counts in total, including the murders of two baggage handlers killed when a bomb exploded at Tokyo's Narita airport an hour before Flight 182 went down.
The bomb that exploded at Narita was destined for Air India Flight 301. Bagri and Malik are charged with the attempted murder of the passengers and crew on that flight.
Bagri is also charged in a 1988 assassination attempt on the publisher of the Indo-Canadian Times, Tara Singh Hayer, an outspoken critic of Sikh extremists. Hayer was murdered in 1998.
Malik and Bagri have not entered pleas on the charges.
Also named as unindicted co-conspirators in the bombing plot are Talwinder Singh Parmar, leader of the militant Sikh separatist group Babbar Khalsa, and Inderjit Singh Reyat.
Parmar was killed by Indian police in October 1992.
Reyat was convicted of manslaughter in 1991 and sentenced to 10 years for his role in the Narita bombing.
Police have said there will be more arrests.
There has been speculation the case could take years to come to trial.
Geoff Gaul, spokesman for the B.C. attorney general's office, said outside court Friday it's difficult to predict how long the case will take to get to court or how long the trial will last.
"There are so many factors that come into play," Gaul said. "It's practically impossible to predict."
Bail hearing for men charged in Air India bombing continues in VancouverUpdated 6:17 PM ET December 28, 2000VANCOUVER (CP) - A bail hearing for two men charged in connection with the 1985 bombing an Air India flight resumed Thursday as friends and family of the victims and accused packed the courtroom. Defence lawyer Bill Smart provided evidence in B.C. Supreme Court but under a publication ban, standard in a bail hearing.
The hearing, which began last week, was expected to continue into its fourth day Friday.
Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik have been in custody since they were arrested Oct. 27.
Bagri, 51, and Malik, 53, are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder of those killed when Flight 182 went down off the coast of Ireland on June 23, 1985.
Most of the 329 victims were Canadian and the bombing remains the worst mass murder in Canadian history.
Malik, a Vancouver millionaire, and Bagri, a Kamloops, B.C., mill worker, face eight counts in total, including the murders of two baggage handlers killed when a bomb exploded at Tokyo's Narita airport an hour before Flight 182 crashed.
The bomb that exploded at Narita was destined for Air India Flight 301. Bagri and Malik are charged with the attempted murder of its passengers and crew.
Bagri is also charged in a 1988 assassination attempt of Tara Singh Hayer, who published the Indo-Canadian Times and was an outspoken critic of Sikh extremists. Hayer was murdered in 1998 and the case remains unsolved.
Talwinder Singh Parmar, leader of the militant Sikh separatist group Babbar Khalsa, and Inderjit Singh Reyat, are also named as unindicted co-conspirators in the bombing plot.
Parmar was killed by Indian police in October 1992.
Reyat was convicted of manslaughter in 1991 and sentenced to 10 years for his role in the Narita bombing.
The RCMP has said there will be more arrests.

Two men charged in Air India bombing to remain in custody through New Year'sUpdated 8:24 PM ET December 29, 2000VANCOUVER (CP) - Two men charged in connection with an Air India bombing more than 15 years ago will remain in custody through the New Year's period. Their bail hearing in B.C. Supreme Court resumed earlier this week and was to continue Tuesday afternoon for the fifth day. Crown lawyers presented evidence Friday, but the proceedings are under a publication ban issued last week by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Patrick Dohm.
A rarely used metal-detector was operating at the entrance to the courtroom and four sheriffs were present.
Malik, a Vancouver millionaire, and Bagri, a Kamloops, B.C., mill worker, face a total of eight counts.
Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik have been in custody since they were arrested Oct. 27.
Bagri, 51, and Malik, 53, are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder of those killed when Flight 182 went down off the coast of Ireland on June 23, 1985.
Most of the 329 victims were Canadian and the bombing remains the worst mass murder in Canadian history.
Friends and family of the accused and the victims, including the family of Hayer, again filled the courtroom Friday.
That includes the murders of two baggage handlers killed when a bomb exploded at Tokyo's Narita airport an hour before Flight 182 went down.
The bomb that exploded at Narita was destined for Air India Flight 301. Bagri and Malik are charged with the attempted murder of its passengers and crew.
Bagri is also charged in a 1988 assassination attempt of Tara Singh Hayer, who published the Indo-Canadian Times and was an outspoken critic of Sikh extremists. Hayer was murdered in 1998 and police are still investigating the case.
Two others are also named as unindicted co-conspirators in the bombing plot.
Talwinder Singh Parmar was the leader of the militant Sikh separatist group Babbar Khalsa, a militant group created to carve a separate state called Khalistan out of Punjab.
Parmar was killed by Indian police in October 1992.
Inderjit Singh Reyat was convicted of manslaughter in 1991 and sentenced to 10 years for his role in the Narita bombing.
The Air India bombing was just one incident in a chain of killing and terrorism that included the assassination of Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi in October 1984.
That followed the Indian army's attack on the Golden Temple, the holiest shrine of Sikhism, in June of that year.
The government saw the temple in Amritsar as a haven for extremists fighting for Khalistan.
The RCMP has said there will be more arrests in the case that has amassed volumes of evidence.

Fundraiser for Air India suspects denies jail experience motivates him

Families of victims deplore the effort, saying the accused have their own resources
Kim Bolan Vancouver Sun
Mark Van Manen, Vancouver Sun / Eddie Madon, whose father died in the Air India bombing, leaves Supreme Court in downtown Vancouver Thursday with the relatives of other victims after a bail hearing for two men arrested and charged in connection with the case.

An organizer of a fund-raising event this week for the Air India bombing suspects said his own experience in an Indian jail is not the motivation behind his desire to help the accused.
But Balkar Singh Heir, who was imprisoned as a suspected financier of Sikh extremists, said he does understand "how corrupt the India government is."
"Mostly Sikh people know that. But this is not the reason I am helping. These people are innocent until proven guilty," Heir said.
Heir was arrested at an Amritsar Hotel in November 1987, while on vacation in India.
Police there said he had money with him that was to be given to militant Sikh separatist groups, something Heir consistently denied.
He was eventually released and returned to the Toronto area where he is a limousine driver.
Now Heir, 52, is one of the leaders of the newly formed United Defence Council, which held a dinner Tuesday that raised tens of thousands of dollars for the legal expenses of Air India suspects Ripudaman Singh Malik of Vancouver and Ajaib Singh Bagri of Kamloops.
Heir said more money is coming in, though the council has not yet opened a bank account to collect funds.
Heir said he is also the spokesman for the Sikh Liberation Organization, a group that wants an independent Sikh state called Khalistan carved from India's Punjab State.
The fund-raising drive offends Eddie Madon, a North Vancouver man whose father Sam was killed in the Air India bombing.
Madon said he thinks the fund-raising efforts are more about making a political statement of support than about the two accused men needing financial assistance.
"It is just a political statement on their part," Madon said. "With these guys' financial position, I don't think they need to get more support."
Heir said about $70,000 was raised at the dinner, while a Surrey radio station owned by Malik was broadcasting that the event had actually raised $300,000 because extra donations were made beyond the ticket prices.
Madon said that no matter how much was raised, it is inappropriate given the magnitude of the charges against the accused.
"Obviously it was quite shocking for us to learn that people are supporting these guys financially," Madon said outside the courtroom where a bail hearing for Malik and Bagri concluded its third day Thursday.
"A lot of people in the Sikh community want justice in this case, but there are also a lot of people in the community who are in denial."
The bail hearing for Malik and Bagri continues today in B.C. Supreme Court, though Justice Patrick Dohm has ordered a publication ban on everything said in the courtroom.
Malik and Bagri, both Sikh separatist leaders, are charged with eight counts including murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and endangering an aircraft in connection with the 1985 bombing of Air India Flight 182 and a second explosion at Tokyo's Narita airport the same day. Two baggage handlers were killed at Narita and all 329 people aboard the Air India flight perished.
Bagri is also charged with attempted murder in the 1988 shooting of newspaper publisher Tara Singh Hayer. Hayer was paralysed in the attack 12 years ago and finally murdered a decade later in a still-unsolved shooting.
Hayer's son Dave said Thursday that he was also shocked that Malik and Bagri supporters held a public fund-raising dinner.
"They are a very small segment of the Sikh community," Dave Hayer said. "Most people do not support these two or anyone linked to terrorism or violence."
Dave Hayer said Revenue Canada should carefully scrutinize the relationship between Ontario Sikh temples with charitable numbers and the organizers of Tuesday's fund-raising dinner.
Some of the organizers listed on a leaflet for the dinner are executive members of Sikh temples in Metro Toronto, though people who attended the dinner said no receipts of any kind were given.
Balwant Singh Gill, president of Surrey's Guru Nanak temple, said the Sikh community is not at all united behind the Air India suspects.
And he said if any fund raising is done, it should be for the families of the victims of the bombing, not for Malik and Bagri, who have their own assets and resources.
"There are a lot of people in our community who do not agree with these guys," Gill said. "The fund raising should be done for the families of those who got killed on the plane."
Gill said there is more support for the accused in Ontario than in B.C. because major Sikh temples in that province are still controlled by people who support the struggle for a separate Sikh nation.

Supreme Court judge reserves bail decision for accused in Air India bombingUpdated 7:21 PM ET January 2, 2001VANCOUVER (CP) - A B.C. Supreme Court judge reserved decision Tuesday on whether two men accused in the bombing of an Air India flight that killed 329 people will be granted bail. Justice Patrick Dohm made the ruling after Crown and defence lawyers concluded five days of submissions at the bail hearing. The judge did not set a date for the release of his decision.
"The Crown has made its submissions," Geoff Gaul, spokesman for the Attorney General's office, said outside the courthouse Tuesday.
"Currently they're in detention. They've applied for their bail so now it's for the judge to decide whether they should be granted bail."
Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik have been in custody since they were arrested Oct. 27. No trial date has yet been set and the men have not entered pleas.
Dohm issued a publication ban on the evidence, standard in a bail hearing.
The hearings were attended before and after the Christmas holiday period by dozens of people, including relatives and friends of those killed in the June 1985 catastrophe when the jumbo jet crashed into the sea off the coast of Ireland.
Malik, a Vancouver millionaire, and Bagri, a Kamloops, B.C., mill worker, face a total of eight counts.
Bagri, 51, and Malik, 53, are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder of those killed when Flight 182 went down off the coast of Ireland on June 23, 1985.
Most of the victims were Canadian and the bombing remains the worst mass murder in Canadian history and the worst act of aviation terrorism in the world.
They are also charged for the murders of two baggage handlers killed when a bomb exploded at Tokyo's Narita airport an hour before Flight 182 went down.
The bomb that exploded at Narita was destined for Air India Flight 301. Bagri and Malik are charged with the attempted murder of its passengers and crew.
Bagri is also charged in a 1988 assassination attempt of Tara Singh Hayer, who published the Indo-Canadian Times and was an outspoken critic of Sikh extremists. Hayer was murdered in 1998 and police are still investigating the case.
His son, publisher of the newspaper since his father's death, and daughter have attended the bail hearing.
"It's a very serious case where . . . human beings, innocent people were killed," Dave Hayer said outside court. "From that point of view I think the judge will take a little time to give the decision," Hayer said.
Hayer said it will likely be a long court process, but that justice will be served in the end.
"I think all of the victims families, including us, feel relieved that at least it's finally going through the court system."
Talwinder Singh Parmar and Inderjit Singh Reyat are named as unindicted co-conspirators in the plot.
Parmar was the leader of the militant Sikh separatist group Babbar Khalsa, a militant group created to carve a separate state called Khalistan out of Punjab. He was killed by Indian police in October 1992.
Reyat was convicted of manslaughter in 1991 and sentenced to 10 years for his role in the Narita bombing.
Police say there will be further arrests in the case.
The Air India bombing came after the Indian army attacked the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, the holiest shrine of Sikhism, in June 1984.
That event kicked off a chain of killing and terrorism that included the assassination of Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in October 1984.

Two charged in Air India bombing to stay in custody, B.C. Supreme Court rulesUpdated 6:40 PM ET January 10, 2001VANCOUVER (CP) - A B.C. Supreme Court judge denied bail Wednesday to two men charged in the worst mass murder in Canadian history, citing the need to "maintain the public's confidence in the administration of justice."
Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm made the ruling following a five-day bail hearing last month. "Any reasonable, fair-minded person aware of these circumstances, including the curves and bumps in the evidence, and cognizant of the presumption of innocence, would not have confidence in the justice system if the accused were released from custody," Dohm wrote in his 17-page decision.
Ripudaman Singh Malik, a millionaire Vancouver businessman, and Ajaib Singh Bagri, a Kamloops, B.C., mill worker, face a total of eight counts in relation to the crash of Air India Flight 182 and a bomb explosion at a Tokyo airport that killed two baggage handlers.
They have been in custody since they were arrested Oct. 27.
Dohm ruled the men would be held despite dismissing Crown concerns that if released, the accused might flee to Pakistan using false passports or by obtaining passports from other countries.
He said that "given the circumstances here of both accused and their connections to Kamloops and Vancouver, I think there is only a slight risk of flight should they be released."
Still, under a Criminal Code section dealing with maintaining confidence in the administration of justice, Dohm decided they must be detained.
"The horror of the circumstances leading to the murder of the 329 passengers and crew of Air India Flight 182 is almost beyond human comprehension," wrote Dohm.
"It is difficult to think of a more planned and deliberate act.
"There is, against both the accused in my view, a strong prima facie (at first view) case of very bad conduct resulting in serious harm."
Bagri, 51, and Malik, 53, are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder of those killed when Flight 182 went down off the coast of Ireland on June 23, 1985.
Most of the 329 victims were Canadian. The bombing remains the worst act of aviation terrorism in the world.
The men are also charged with the murders of two baggage handlers killed when a bomb exploded at Tokyo's Narita airport an hour before Flight 182 went down.
The bomb that exploded at Narita was destined for Air India Flight 301. Bagri and Malik are charged with the attempted murder of its passengers and crew.
Bagri is also charged in a 1988 assassination attempt of Tara Singh Hayer, who published the Indo-Canadian Times and was an outspoken critic of Sikh extremists. Hayer was murdered in 1998 and police are still investigating the case.
The men will remain in jail for another 18 months before their trial is scheduled to start.
The trial length and distant start date have been a major concern of the defence and Crown.
Dohm noted the defence believes the earliest the trial could be completed would be late 2002 or early 2003.
"The trial schedule . . . does cause me considerable concern," said the judge.
"Special security considerations are necessary for all those persons actually involved in the trial or those assisting them."
He said he wanted "the earliest of trial dates" and would monitor the progress of the defence and Crown on a monthly basis.
Two others are also named as unindicted co-conspirators in the bombing plot.
Talwinder Singh Parmar was the leader of the militant Sikh separatist group Babbar Khalsa, which is dedicated to the creation of a separate state called Khalistan in Punjab.
Parmar was killed by Indian police in October 1992.
Inderjit Singh Reyat was convicted of manslaughter in 1991 and sentenced to 10 years for his role in the Narita bombing.
Friends and family of both the accused and the victims filled the courtroom throughout the bail hearing.
The Air India bombing came after the Indian army attacked the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, the holiest shrine of Sikhism, in June 1984.
That event triggered a chain of killing and terrorism that included the assassination of Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in October 1984.
The RCMP has said there will be more arrests in the case that has amassed volumes of evidence. It's the largest, most expensive investigation every undertaken by the RCMP, with an estimated cost of more than $30 million.

Boeing 747 Electrically Caused Inadvertent Cargo Door Openings

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