A spin-off investigation from the Air India bombing trial has
determined no charges will be laid against the lawyer for the only man
convicted in the terrorist plot.
After a seven-year investigation, special prosecutor Paul Fraser has
decided the evidence didn't support a charge of fraud against Inderjit
Singh Reyat's lawyer David Martin.
And while Fraser concluded there would be a likelihood of
conviction for Reyat's son Didar, he said prosecution was not required
in the public interest.
The Law Society of B.C. issued a citation against Martin,
alleging that he defrauded the government by making a deal to pay
$10,000 a month to Reyat's two children for translation services and
that he submitted fake accounts for work that hadn't been done.
After the allegations were made in 2002, Reyat's entire legal team, except Martin, resigned and were replaced.
Reyat pleaded guilty a year later to manslaughter for his part
in the bombing that killed all 329 people on the Air India jet that
crashed into the ocean off Ireland in June 1985.
Fraser said any evidence against Martin presented at a criminal
trial "would likely be ambivalent and would lack the cogency and
clarity to support a finding of the necessary criminal intent."
A Law Society panel ruled in 2004 that Martin didn't conduct
himself professionally around the matter, but didn't do it
"It was common ground that the applicants misconduct involved neither dishonesty nor deceit," said a decision from the society.
The society ordered that Martin be reprimanded, pay a $20,000 fine and pay $35,000 in costs of the discipline proceedings.
"I am gratified that the announcement made today finally puts
this entire matter to a complete end," Martin said in a statement to
Fraser also said the evidence didn't support a charge against Prit
Reyat, but her brother Didar Reyat admitted right away to inflating the
accounts over two months.
He said Didar Reyat's quick admission meant the government made no payments on the accounts.
"In the result, the Reyat children received no payment at all
for the work they actually did in the months of February and March
2002," Fraser said in his report.
Fraser decided no criminal charges should be laid because of
the lapse in time, the man's immediate admission of inflating the
accounts, the fact the amount involved less than $3,000 and that he had
no criminal record.
Inderjit Singh Reyat's co-accused in the bombing trial,
Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri, were acquitted in 2004
after a 19-month trial.