Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Air India families denied access to secret documents, testimony

Ottawa: Lawyers for the families of the Air India bombing victims have lost a bid to gain unfettered access to secret documents and testimony about the 1985 terrorist attack.
Justice John Major, in a ruling made public Tuesday, said he has no power to grant such access under the mandate given to him by the government to investigate the affair.
Even if he did have the power, said Major, it wouldn't do any good. That's because the lawyers would have to be sworn to secrecy and couldn't tell their clients what they'd learned from the secret material.
"That raises the question of what possible value such attendance (at oral hearings) or viewing of documents would be to the families," wrote Major.
Lawyers Norm Boxall and Jacques Shore filed a request in November to see all government documents related to the bombing in their original form, without any editing by federal officials to protect national security interests.
10/01/07 Jim Brown/Canadian Press/, Canada