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One of two men accused and acquitted of blowing up Air India flight 182 in 1985 is suing the B.C. and federal governments for malicious prosecution. 

Ripudaman Singh Malik has filed documents in B.C. Supreme Court arguing the charges smeared his reputation and caused him financial losses. 

Malik, a millionaire who made his money in the textile industry, had signed an agreement in 2002 with the provincial government to cover his legal costs on the condition that he liquidate his assets. 

Linda Mueller, a spokeswoman in the B.C. Attorney General’s Ministry, said: “We are interested to see that he has taken this type of action given that he does owe the taxpayers of B.C. several million dollars that we advanced to him to pay the defence costs …” 

Malik was charged along with Ajaib Singh Bagri, of Kamloops, on eight counts — including first degree murder and planting bombs on airplanes — in connection to Air India Flight 182 that was downed off the coast of Ireland on June 23, 1985, killing all 329 people on board.  

The pair was also jointly charged with a second count of first-degree murder in connection to the explosion of another bomb at the luggage terminal of Japan’s Narita airport. 

Both men were acquitted on all counts. 

During their trial, the prosecution alleged that the bomb used in the explosion was loaded aboard the flight in Vancouver and that Malik and Bagri were key players in the plan. 

Malik claimed during the trial that he had exhausted his savings of several million dollars on his defence. He then received money from the Crown for his case. 

A B.C. cost analysis report from 2005 found that the 19-month mass murder trial cost Canadian taxpayers almost $60 million — $30.27 million of which was funded by the B.C. government and $27.51 million by Ottawa. 

Estimates suggested Bagri and Malik owed $9.7 million and $6.4 million respectively. 

The B.C. government wants both Bagri and Singh to repay the money that was used for their defence. 

Malik’s lawyer, David Unterman, declined to comment on Tuesday. 

A government spokesman told The Globe that the writ would have to be studied before any response could be made. 

 

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