Surrey/North Delta Leader

Jubilee medal awarded to radio manager who's facing criminal charges

Maninder Gill -
Maninder Gill
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NDP MP Jinny Sims says she didn't know about Radio India manager Maninder Gill's upcoming trial on weapons charges when she awarded him a Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal on the weekend.

In a statement, Sims, MP for Newton-North Delta, she said she now recognizes the seriousness of the crime Gill is accused of committing and apologized to anyone who was offended that he received a medal.

She added that “the Canadian legal system treats everyone fairly by ensuring that each accused person is considered to be innocent until they are found to be guilty in a court of law" and said she wouldn't comment further until the matter had gone through the courts.

Gill, managing director at Radio India, was ordered last March to stand trial in B.C. Supreme Court on a series of weapons-related offences stemming from an August 2010 dispute outside the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple that left another man with a bullet wound to the leg.

Gill claims he was attacked by "Khalistan goons" and shot the man in self-defence.

He says he's deserving of the Jubilee Medal for helping raise millions of dollars for charity through his radio station over the years.

Sims presented the awards to about 30 community members at a ceremony Sunday (Feb. 10) at the India Banquet hall in Surrey. MPs across the country have held similar award presentations, with about 60,000 of the medals being distributed Canada-wide.

Gill's next court appearance on the charges is June 24.

- with files from CBC

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