Source Pravda.Ru

Canada holds inquiry into Air India bombing

Canada will hold a public inquiry into the 1985 bombing of an Air India flight that killed all 329 people on board, Canada's Deputy Prime Minister announced Wednesday.

Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan said the government will have former Ontario premier Bob Rae conduct a focused inquiry to answer lingering questions about the bombing.

The announcement came hours after Rae recommended in a government-commissioned report that Canada hold such an inquiry.

Rae said Canadians deserve to know more about how authorities assessed the threat of terrorism and handled the investigation of Canada's worst case of mass murder.

Rae met with family members of the victims Wednesday morning before releasing his report. In May, Canadian prosecutors said they would not appeal the acquittals in the Air India bombing case because they believed they had no chance of winning a new trial.

Canadians Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri were found innocent in March of murder and conspiracy charges stemming from the June 23, 1985, bombing of Air India Flight 182. The flight went down off the coast of Ireland while en route from Toronto to Bombay.

An hour earlier, a bomb in baggage intended for another Air India flight exploded in Tokyo's Narita airport, killing two baggage handlers. The verdict earlier this year ended a two-year trial.

In the wake of the verdict, the victims' families called for a public inquiry into the investigation of the case by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

But McLellan suggested a day after the verdicts that there wouldn't an inquiry. She said she doubted an inquiry would uncover anything not already disclosed by the lengthy trial. Rae stressed in his report that an inquiry cannot determine criminal responsibility, AP reports.

A. A.

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