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Air-India facts

The Globe and Mail, Sept. 6, 2004

Facts about the bombing:

Number of people killed on June 23, 1985, in a bomb blast at Tokyo's Narita airport: 2.

Number of people killed in bomb blast 54 minutes later aboard Air-India flight 182 over Atlantic Ocean: 329.

Number of bodies recovered from the ocean: 132.

Number of people facing murder charges: 2.

Number of people mentioned during the trial as possibly involved in or aware of the conspiracy, but never charged: 15.

Most memorable testimony

Seaman Daniel Brown recounting failed attempts to recover bodies covered in oil, hydraulic fluid and blood. "Some I even had in my hands, but we couldn't get them into the boat," he said, with tears in his eyes.

Most dramatic testimony

"I was there sir. You were not. I remember what he said," star witness for prosecution said, in response to suggestion she fabricated evidence against Ripudaman Singh Malik.

Most bone-chilling comment

"We will not take rest until we kill 50,000 Hindus,"Ajaib Singh Bagri said during a speech at a rally in July, 1984.

Most controversial moment

Inderjit Singh Reyat receives a five-year jail sentence after admitting he acquired material to help others make explosive devices.

Most understated effort

by a defence lawyer

"My client is not the worst player in what is a horrible crime," Mr. Reyat's lawyer David Gibbons said after the deal was sealed.

Prosecution handicap

No testimony from members of the alleged inner circle, no physical evidence, no crime scene, unreliable memories after 19 years.

Defence handicap

Widespread perception of guilt before any evidence was presented.

Most common witness

response to a question

"I don't remember."

Most outlandish moment

"Sir, are you an idiot?" prosecutor Richard Cairns said during cross-examination of a witness.

Most money collected

by a witness after agreeing

to testify at the trial

$300,000 (U.S.), paid by the RCMP to a U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation informant who was an important witness to testify against Mr. Bagri.

Worst team players

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service refused to share wiretap information with the RCMP for several months after the crash; a CSIS agent withheld crucial information about an alleged admission of guilt for several years; RCMP officers sidetracked by office politics did not follow up significant evidence for several years; the FBI waited years before telling the RCMP about key information passed on by a trusted informant.

Most significant setbacks

for the prosecution

CSIS wiped out tape recordings of intercepted conversations of prime suspects days before the explosion; judge threw out testimony of police officers and signed witness statements taken by police that would have corroborated prosecution evidence.

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