Canada

RCMP video system failed the day Sikh journalist was killed, inquiry hears

An RCMP video surveillance system installed at the home of a potential witness in the prosecution of key suspects in the 1985 Air India bombing wasn't working the day he was murdered in 1998, the inquiry has heard.

An RCMP video surveillance system installed at the home of a potential witness in the prosecution of key suspects in the 1985 Air India bombingwasn't working the day he was murdered in 1998, the inquiry heard Thursday.

And it appears the Mounties never informed the grieving familyof journalist Tara Singh Hayer that the equipment had failed to capture any images of the assailants.

David Hayer, the son of the slain man and a Liberal member of the B.C. legislature, said the first time he learned of the video failure was this week— when he got a look at internal police documents just before they were tabled at the inquiry.

The senior Hayer, an outspoken opponent of Sikh terrorism, had told police he had received death threats, and his family thought the Mounties weren't taking the matter seriously enough.

The force eventually installed the video equipment after being tipped that Hayer might be on a hit list compiled by his enemies.

Hayer was left paralyzed and wheelchair-bound by a 1988 shooting, then killed in a shooting in 1998 before he could testify in court. Nobody has been convicted in either attack.

The inquiry, which started in 2006, is headed by former Supreme Court justice John Major.

Air India Flight 182 exploded off the west coast of Ireland in June 1985, killing all 329 people on board, mostly Canadians.

The blast was blamed on the militant Sikh separatist group Babbar Khalsa, but only one man has ever been convicted. Another was shot dead by police in India and two more were acquitted at trial in Vancouver.

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