Canada concealed key Kanishka report
Toronto: In an apparent bid to limit civil damages, Canada had concealed a key report from the Indian government on the 1985 Kanishka bombing, which suggested that the plot was “planned and orchestrated” entirely in the country, official documents showed.

The documents, produced by the Federal Department of Justice for the Kanishka bombing inquiry, suggests that the former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s office, in 1985 and 1986, tried to conceal a report from the Indian government about the fact that the bombing was plotted entirely in Canada to avoid civil damages. The report included conclusion of Candian Mounted Police (RCMP) in the Kanishka case, which suggested that the bombing was planned and orchestrated entirely in Canada. The Aviation Safety Board’s (ASB) report prepared for India’s Kirpal Commission, which was investigating the bombing, also reflected the conclusion of the probe.

But the ministerial briefing notes, The notes called the ASB report “potentially damaging” and suggested that it should therefore not be given to the Indian government.

The notes released on Friday showed that Brian Mulroney’s senior adviser Fred Doucet, thought that report didn’t show Canada in the “best light.” All 329 people on board Air India Flight 182 died when the plane crashed near Ireland on June 23, 1985. At that time one of the memos reads: the safety board may have perceived “itself as being in a position of possible conflict,” because its interests in aviation safety and determining the cause of the accident were “possibly at odds” with the government’s interest in portraying Canada in the best light possible.

After the new revelations, lawyers for the victims’ families have accused the Mulroney government of covering up information.

In a submission titled ‘Cover-up to diminish compensation,’ the Victims’ Families Association said the document showed that the Prime Minister’s Office was involved in keeping a key Canadian Aviation Safety Board report out of the hands of an inquiry in India conducted by Justice B.N. Kirpal.
Posted by: john frum 2009-05-10