Legal Daily News Feature
Terrorist Fights Upper Canada Law Society to be Called to Bar By Christine Cristiano A convicted hijacker and terrorist has appealed to the Law Society of Upper Canada to practise law in Ontario. In July 1984, Parminder Singh Saini was part of a Sikh group that hijacked an Indian Airlines jet. The hijackers forced the Airbus carrying 265 passengers to land in Lahore, Pakistan. Negotiations with the Pakistani authorities lasted over 20 hours. The hijackers surrendered, and no one on board was injured.
09/09/09 According to Parminder Singh Saini, he made ‘’a terrible, wrong decision’’ and attributed his actions to his ignorance, youth and for following orders issued by an extremist student group. According to Susan Heakes, Discipline Counsel, ‘’Saini recruited hijackers, brandished and fired a gun. He threatened to ‘’start throwing dead bodies out of the plane.’’ Heakes added that Saini ‘’requires a veritable mountain of good character evidence to rebut an act of terrorism, although it is not impossible.’’ Heakes further noted that ‘’over the course of the last 15 years, these courts and tribunals have declared that he is a danger to the public and security in Canada, and that he shouldn’t remain [in Canada]. How can you reconcile those decisions as recent as July 2009 and yet find that Mr. Saini is of good character and that he should be admitted to the bar?’’
After the Pakistani government granted Saini a full pardon in January 1995, Saini made his way to Canada using a false name and sought refugee status while he lived with extended family members in the greater Toronto area. In September 1995 Saini’s false identity was discovered, and he was ordered to be deported back to Pakistan and remained in custody for three years. Saini defends his actions because he feared if he was sent back to India, he would be killed like two of the other hijackers after they were released from prison. According to Saini’s lawyer, Frank Addario, Saini has not shown any signs of violence, and has spent the last ten years pursuing two university degrees at the University of Windsor. Addario acknowledged that ‘’Mr. Saini has done all this while the sword of deportation hung over his head and still does. He’s not a danger to the public. He was released 11 years ago and has fully complied with his bail.’’ Addario maintains that his client’s rehabilitation should be reason enough to convince the Upper Canada Law Society panel to call Saini to the bar.
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A convicted hijacker and terrorist has appealed to the Law Society of Upper Canada to practise law in Ontario. In July 1984, Parminder Singh...