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Kanishka victims' kin shocked

Last updated on: March 18, 2005 21:15 IST

Relatives of the Kanishka bombing victims plunged into fresh agony on Wednesday, after the two accused were acquitted.

Some witnesses burst into tears as Justice Ian Bruce Josephson ruled that Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik had not downed the plane.

"I can't believe it, I can't believe it," one man cried in court as the judgement, which stunned long-term observers of the trial, was handed down.

Another man, Rattan Singh Kalsi, who lost his daughter in the tragedy on June 23, 1985, cried along with his wife.

"They should not have brought the case to court. We were suffering, but now we are suffering more," he said outside the British Columbia Supreme Court.

Martine Donahue, a reservations agent when the plane left Canada for London, on an onward journey to India, also despaired.

"How can you fight the law? They have so many tricks in their bag. It was an almost impossible trial. It was people talking against people."

Rumi Shross, who lost a friend in the disaster, said he was speechless at the verdict.

"I have no words to describe it, how difficult it is," he told CBC Television.

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