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Two history sheeters arrested in Ripudaman Singh Malik murder case

Malik, who was acquitted of murder charges in the 1985 Air India bombing, was shot dead as he arrived at his business in an industrial complex  in Surrey.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) of British Columbia (BC) has arrested two history sheeters in the July 14 murder of controversial Surrey businessman Ripudaman Singh Malik.

Malik, who was acquitted of murder charges in the 1985 Air India bombing, was shot dead as he arrived at his business in an industrial complex  in Surrey.

The IHIT investigating the case has arrested Tanner Fox, 21, and Jose Lopez, 23. Both have been  charged with first-degree murder. They were to be produced in a Surrey provincial court  later today.

Both have  criminal history  and have faced charges for violent crime long before the Malik murder.

According to media reports, Lopez was charged in Kelowna last summer with nine criminal counts, including possession of a firearm with ammunition, pointing a gun, violating a court order to possess firearms and resisting arrest. The matter was sent from provincial court to Supreme Court last October.

Dan McLaughlin, spokesman for the B.C. The Prosecution Service told newsmen  that Lopez was next due in court on the gun charges in November with a trial date in Kelowna of Dec. 5.

“He was ordered released on these charges on $5,000 cash bail with conditions on July 30, 2021,” McLaughlin said. “The BCPS opposed his release.”

Lopez was also convicted in September 2019 of assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon for an incident in Abbotsford a year earlier. He got an 18-month conditional sentence and a 10-year firearms prohibition.

Fox was convicted in April last year for  resisting or obstructing a peace officer and sentenced to four days in jail.

He was convicted of assault causing bodily harm related to a November 2019 stabbing  in Abbotsford and sentenced to 119 days in jail, as well as a 10-year firearms prohibition. And last fall, he was charged with aggravated assault related to the New Westminster incident. He was out on $500 bail at the time of Malik’s murder.

Both arrested men have connections to Abbotsford.

After the murder, IHIT released eerie video of a white Honda CRV driving through the parking area of the complex where Papillon is based about 80 minutes before the shooting. There appeared to be more than one person inside.

Investigators said the suspects were inside  the car and were  waiting  for Malik, 75, to arrive at his business premises.

The Honda was found burning six blocks away shortly after the targeted hit.

Malik was a one-time Air India bombing suspect linked to the Sikh separatist movement. He was acquitted of murder and conspiracy charges in March 2005.

His son, Jaspreet Singh Malik, in a tweet on the day of the murder, hoped that the crime had no links to the Kanishka case.

The divisive figure was also a founder of the Khalsa Credit Union and the Satnam Education Society, which runs several independent schools and receives financing from the B.C. government. He was also looking forward to starting a new College for which he had invited Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht. The Jathedar, however, cited reasons for some commitments elsewhere for his inability to travel to BC.

The reports also suggested there was criticism of Ripudaman Singh Malik  after he wrote to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January on the school letterhead  for acknowledging some actions of the Indian Prime Minister  to deal with outstanding issues related to the treatment of Sikhs.

After his early morning murder, the police could not determine any motive behind his killing. The  IHIT, which has been handling the case, held that  a number of investigative avenues were  available to it.

 

 

Prabhjot Singh 

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