Terrorist eyes T.O. legal practice

A convicted terrorist is asking to practise law in Greater Toronto. Parminder Singh Saini, 46, blames youth for his violent past and says he is rehabilitated.

A convicted terrorist is asking to practise law in Greater Toronto.

Parminder Singh Saini, 46, blames youth for his violent past and says he is rehabilitated.

“I had no legitimate right to do that,” he recently told the Law Society of Upper Canada of a 1984 airline hijacking in his native India. “It’s not legal.”

He deserves a second chance, he and his advocates say.

“He served his time and was subsequently pardoned,” says York University political science professor Sandra Whitworth, who taught him in 2001.

“The evidence of his character in the last 25 years,” his lawyer Frank Addario told the law society, “points toward a complete rehabilitation on his part.” But critics remain skeptical.

Aside from hijacking a plane and shooting at several of his 270-plus hostages — wounding one in the back — Saini lied his way into Canada, has never gained landed immigrant status, faces deportation and by ministerial order remains a threat.

“Over the course of the last 15 years, (Canadian) courts and tribunals have declared that he is a danger to the public and security,” law society counsel Susan Heakes told a hearing.