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Air India perjurer Inderjit Singh Reyat granted release to halfway house

Air India perjurer Inderjit Singh Reyat granted release to halfway house

Reyat was charged with perjury in 2006 for repeatedly lying during his testimony at trial

The Canadian Press Posted: Jan 26, 2016 4:08 PM PT Last Updated: Jan 26, 2016 6:36 PM PT

Inderjit Singh Reyat walks outside B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Sept. 10, 2010.

Inderjit Singh Reyat walks outside B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Sept. 10, 2010. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

The only person convicted in the 1985 Air India bombings has been granted statutory release from prison to a halfway house, prompting shock and disappointment from the families of the victims.

Inderjit Singh Reyat was charged with perjury in 2006 for repeatedly lying during his testimony at the trial into the bombing deaths of 331 people, mostly Canadians.

Reyat was found guilty in 2010 and sentenced to a record nine years in prison, or seven years and seven months after accounting for time served.

Under the law, offenders must be granted statutory release after they have served two-thirds of their sentence.

Parole Board of Canada spokesman Patrick Storey said Reyat must abide by several conditions as part of his release, including not possessing any extremist propaganda or possessing any components used to build an explosive device.

He is also not allowed to contact victims’ families or anyone who is believed to hold extremist views. He will be monitored by a parole officer and must complete counselling.

Reyat is set to serve the rest of his sentence, which ends in August 2018, at a halfway house. Storey said he could not disclose the location of the residence due to privacy legislation.

If Reyat breaches any of the conditions, he can be sent back to prison, Storey said.

A parole officer could also recommend that Reyat be released early from the halfway house.

‘Unending, hurtful wound’ for families

Families of the victims said they were shocked to hear the news about his release.

“It’s upsetting. It’s always been upsetting.… It’s a saga that never ends,” said Renee Saklikar, a Vancouver-based poet whose aunt and uncle were killed in the bombing, leaving behind an orphaned boy.

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