The Surrey man who was at the centre of an international brouhaha involving his attendance at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s reception in India in 2018 will not have his day in court.
Jaspal Atwal, 64, was set to appear in Surrey provincial court on an unrelated matter on Monday, charged with one count of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, but the charge has been stayed.
“It has always been our position that no threats were ever made. We set it down for trial and the Crown took the position they weren’t able to prove the charge and directed a stay of proceeding,” Atwal’s lawyer, Marvin Stern, told the Now-Leader.
Being charged with a crime is a “stressful situation,” he noted, “and it seems this one got a fair bit of media attention and that’s always a stressful situation as well so he’s happy to have it behind him.”
The stayed charge stemmed from an incident that was alleged to have occurred in Surrey on April 23, 2018.
In an unrelated matter, Atwal had been found guilty of trying to assassinate an Indian cabinet minister in 1986. That fact caused a ruckus in February of 2018 when he was invited to attend a reception with Trudeau, through Surrey-Centre Liberal MP Randeep Sarai’s office, and was photographed with the prime minister’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, as well as Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi and Sonia Sidhu, Liberal MP for Brampton South.
Sarai stepped down as chairman of the Liberal Pacific Caucus over the affair.