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Hardeep Singh Nijjar murder suspects produced in court

Hardeep Singh Nijjar murder suspects produced in court
22 May 2024

Three of the four Indian nationals accused in the murder of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar made their first in-person appearance at the Provincial Court in Surrey, British Columbia, on Tuesday.

The fourth suspect, Amandeep Singh, attended via video link from Ontario, where he is currently detained on unrelated weapons charges.

All suspects were dressed in red prison sweatsuits for their court appearance.

Why does this story matter?

The four Indian nationals are all charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder over Nijjar's killing last year, an incident that severely strained relations between Canada and India. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had alleged the involvement of "Indian agents" in the assassination, which India dismissed as "absurd" and "motivated." The diplomatic fallout later resulted in the expulsions of senior diplomats from both countries.

Judge issues no-contact order, adjourns case
Court proceedings

Judge Emmet Duncan communicated with the suspects through an interpreter and issued a no-contact order with several community members.

The case was adjourned until June 25, allowing time for the Crown to fulfill its evidentiary disclosure obligations to the defense lawyers.

Nijjar, who was wanted in India on various terror charges, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen outside a gurdwara in Surrey on June 18, 2023.

Heightened security measures and community support
Courtroom scene

Security measures were intensified at the hearing, with attendees searched before entering the courthouse.

Personal phones were placed in plastic zipper bags and kept outside the courtroom in plastic bins.

Judge Duncan reiterated that recording audio or taking pictures was strictly prohibited.

Outside the courthouse, supporters of Nijjar and the Sikh separatist movement rallied in solidarity.