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'Bad management hampered Kanishka probe'
December 06, 2007 02:46 IST
A poisonous work atmosphere and bad management decisions hampered the Canadian police's investigation into the 1985 Air India bombing, a former official said.
Testifying before the Air India Inquiry commission, Retired Staff Sgt. Robert Solvason said he quit the probe team in frustration over personal conflicts with his superiors and failure to follow critical leads.
Solvason, then a relatively junior corporal, said not enough effort was made to develop key sources, who might have shed light on the downing of Air India Flight 182 that killed 329 people.
He also testified that as early as 1988 he urged the Mounties to shift the focus of their investigation toward developing a conspiracy case against Sikh extremists suspected of the attack.
The recommendation never went anywhere at the time, and the idea was only revived years later, after new officers took over the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Air India task force.The fresh approach led to the prosecution of two suspects -- Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri -- but both were acquitted in 2005.