Surrey/North Delta Leader

Mom of Maple Batalia thinking of accused killers' families

On the day her daughter's accused killers made their first appearance in court, Maple Batalia's mother was concerned about the families of the two men.

According to IHIT (Integrated Homicide Investigation Team) spokesperson Sgt. Jennifer Pound, Sarabjit Batalia expressed sympathy for the families of Gurjinder (Gary) Dhaliwal and Gursimar Singh Bedi, who have been arrested in connection to Maple's 2011 murder.

"She's struggling with how they might be struggling, which speaks volumes to the them (the Batalias) and the people they are and the family bond they have," said Pound.

Dhaliwal, Maple's ex-boyfriend, is charged with first-degree murder, while BediĀ  is charged with with manslaughter with a firearm and accessory after the fact. Dhaliwal appeared in person in Surrey Provincial Court Monday morning (Dec. 3), while Bedi appeared by video.

Outside court, Dhaliwal's defence lawyer David Albert reminded the media that Dhaliwal is presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

"I know that is often difficult, especially for family and friends of a victim in a case like this with the profile it has," said Albert.

He said his client intends to plead not guilty.

Bedi has yet to secure a lawyer, said Albert.

Their next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 17.

Sgt. Pound said the Batalia family intends to attend as many court dates as possible.

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