UPDATED: Vernon cold case murder suspect makes first court appearance, seeks bail

Paramjit Singh Bogarh’s matter was adjourned to June 28 to fix a date

A man extradited from the United States in connection with a 1986 murder made his first appearance in Vernon Law Courts Thursday and will seek bail.

Appearing via video, 57-year-old Paramjit Singh Bogarh, his long white beard and traditional Sikh headwear a stark contrast to the vibrant orange apparel, sat quiet speaking only to confirm his identity before a Justice of the Peace as his matter was carried over to June 28 to fix a date.

Bogarh is charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of conspiring to commit murder relating to the New Year’s Eve 1986 death of his spouse, Saminder Kaur Bogarh.

Russ Chamberlain, Paramjit Singh Bogarh’s defence lawyer, said that he will be seeking bail the week of June 18.

“This is a very old case and the evidence against him is very scant,” Chamberlain said. “Based on the intel I received from the Crown, it’s a weak case and the accused professes his innocence.”

Narindar Singh Bogarh, Paramjit Singh Bogarh’s brother, is also charged with the same counts and the BC Prosecution Service is pursuing his extradition. According to Chamberlain, Narindar is currently in India.

Chamberlain also represented both men in 1987 when arrests were first made.

According to a Jan. 3, 1987 article in the Vernon Daily News, Murder charges stayed, a then 25-year-old Paramjit Singh Bogarh was charged with second-degree murder on New Year’s Day and was scheduled to appear in court Jan. 2 in relation to his wife’s murder.

However, instead of appearing in court Bogarh, who was a janitor, was released that afternoon when the Crown entered a stay-of-proceedings.

“RCMP Staff-Sgt. Jim Wilson told the Daily News there wasn’t the evidence to support the second-degree murder charge,” the article reads.

At the time of the incident, RCMP said the woman suffered several stab wounds and was found in the bathroom of their home in south Vernon. There were three people in the house at that time: Saminder Kaur Bogarh, Paramjit Singh Bogarh and a two-and-a-half-year-old boy who was later taken into the care of the Human Resources Ministry.

Dr. Bill Currie, a forensic pathologist assigned to the case, confirmed that the victim suffered stab wounds to the neck, hands, arms and legs.

Only two articles regarding the incident appeared in the Daily News in January 1987 — Stabbing death investigated Jan. 2 and Murder charges stayed Jan. 3.

None of the charges against either man has been proven in court.

Paramjit Singh Bogarh remains remanded in custody.

Related: First-degree murder charge laid in Vernon cold case


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parker.crook@vernonmorningstar.com

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