Two men accused of blowing up an airliner nearly 20 years ago with the help of a former Coventry Jaguar worker were acquitted by a Canadian court yesterday.
Ripudaman Singh Malik (58), and Ajaib Singh Bagri (55), both Indian-born Sikhs from British Columbia, had been charged with killing 331 people in two bomb attacks against Air India in 1985.
They were acquitted of all eight charges against them, including first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
After a two-year trial, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Ian Josephson said the prosecution's key witnesses were not credible.
On June 23, 1985, Air India Flight 182 from Montreal to London, carrying luggage and passengers originating in Vancouver, exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland. All 329 people on board, mostly Canadians, were killed.
An hour earlier, a bomb in baggage intended for another Air India flight exploded at Tokyo airport, killing two baggage handlers.
The attack on Flight 182 was the deadliest terrorist attack on a commercial airliner prior to September 11.
Canadian prosecutors had maintained the two explosions were the result of a conspiracy between the two men and Inderjit Singh Reyat, a Canadian who emigrated to England and worked at Jaguar's Browns Lane plant in Coventry.
In May 1991 Reyat was sentenced to ten years in prison on manslaughter and explosives charges related to the Narita bombing.
He was sentenced to a further five years in prison in 2003 just days before the end of his sentence for the Narita bombing after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and admitting he helped make the bomb which blew up the Boeing 747.