Indian courts will ‘do justice’ in Jassi Sidhu honour killing case: Ujjal Dosanjh
A former attorney general and premier of B.C. says he believes the Indian court system will deliver justice for a Canadian woman murdered nearly 20 years ago.
Canada’s Department of Justice confirmed Thursday that the mother and uncle of Jaswinder (Jassi) Sidhu were extradited to India on Wednesday.
Malkit Sidhu and Surjit Badesha are facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder for allegedly masterminding Jassi’s murder after she defied her family by falling in love with and marrying a poor rickshaw driver.
“I’m pleased,” Ujjal Dosanjh told Global News on Thursday. “Finally, it’s going to court.”
Dosanjh said he has been critical in the past of the RCMP for acting too slowly in the case, but commended the police for eventually pursuing the case. He said he believes the extradition shows that international crimes allegedly committed from Canada aren’t immune from prosecution.
WATCH: Former B.C. premier Ujjal Dosanjh on Canadians facing charges in India for Jassi Sidhu’s murder
And he said he believes the spotlight that has been put on the case will ensure it is taken seriously in Indian courts.
“Because of the international nature of the case, which is what actually brought it to where it is, the international attention, I believe Indian courts will do justice to it,” he said.
“It’s a democratic country. It’s not the perfect system — neither are we. Perhaps we’re slightly more perfect than they are. But I think, because of the scrutiny on this particular case internationally, across international borders, they’ll do a good job.”
But not everyone believes the extradition will produce a conviction, including Fabian Dawson, the journalist and filmmaker who broke the story nearly 19 years ago.
“I don’t think Jassi will ever see justice,” Dawson told Global News.
“Unless there’s new evidence that the Indian authorities have against the two from here, I doubt this case is going to to go very far in India.”
Jassi Sidhu’s body was found in June 2000 with her throat slashed, a day after she was abducted by a group of armed men in India.
She had been riding a scooter with her husband Sukhwinder (Mithu) Singh Sidhu at the time.
READ MORE: A timeline of Jassi Sidhu’s life and death
Seven men were convicted in 2005 of acting as the assassins in the murder, but police alleged that Jassi’s mother had given the execution order by phone from Canada.
Malkit Sidhu and Surjit Badesha were nearly extradited in 2007, but a last-minute court ruling kept them in Canada.
In December 2018, the B.C. Court of Appeal denied an application for a stay of proceedings in the extradition.
— With files from Rumina Daya
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