The first Palestinian terrorist attack on US soil was the assassination of Robert Kennedy. The killer, Sirhan Sirhan, is seeking freedom based on some trumped-up fiction. Well, why not? The Obama adminstration has a soft spot for poor wittle terrorists -- perhaps Holder will take up Sirhan's cause.
Lawyers for Robert F Kennedy's Palestinian killer Sirhan Sirhan claim to have new evidence that will free him from prison, 42 years after he was jailed for assassinating the US senator.Sirhan Sirhan in San Quentin Prison, California Photo: AP
By Jacqui Goddard in Miami
They say the new material hands them "game, set and match" in their campaign to release him from the life sentence he was given on being convicted for gunning down the senator at a California hotel.
They have launched a fresh appeal on behalf of Sirhan, 67, claiming in court for the first time that prosecutors fabricated ballistics evidence against him at trial, switching a bullet that was taken from the dead senator's neck for one that they claimed matched the defendant's gun.[...]
Lawyers also seek a re-examination of claims that Sirhan was framed by shadowy agents - indirectly suggested as being the CIA - who they say "hypno-programmed" him into taking part in the shooting to divert attention from their own fatal gunfire.
"But we are dealing with a high profile political assassination that involves the government and government agencies and a cover-up for 43 years, So I'm not confident that we are going to overcome the politics, but I'm confident that they have got to give us an evidentiary hearing and put all this under oath in a court of law, which has never happened."
Senator Kennedy died on June 6, 1968, one day after the shooting at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, where he had been celebrating victory in the California primary of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. He had just delivered his victory address in the ballroom and was taking a short cut out of the hotel through the crowded kitchen when Sirhan stepped forward and opened fire.
The senator's loss altered the course of American politics and sent shock waves through a country still coming to terms with the assassination four and a half years earlier of his brother, President John F Kennedy, by political malcontent Lee Harvey Oswald.
At trial in 1969, Sirhan - a Palestinian Christian refugee - was asked by his defence counsel, Grant Cooper, whether he had shot Senator Kennedy. "Yes sir," he replied, echoing admissions made in police custody directly after the incident.
"Do you doubt you shot him?" Mr Cooper demanded. "No sir, I don't," Sirhan responded, launching into a diatribe about US policy in the Middle East and later stating that he resented Senator Kennedy's support for Israel.
"RFK must die - RFK must be killed," he wrote in a notebook prior to the shooting.
But despite multiple confessions, insists Dr Pepper, Sirhan did not shoot Senator Kennedy. Chief among the new evidence he has put forward is a claim that prosecutors switched bullets in evidence, to incriminate him.
When the coroner, Dr Thomas Noguchi, removed a bullet from the politician's neck during a post-mortem examination, he marked it with the handwritten reference "TN31". Yet on an inventory of the exhibits that were presented in court during Sirhan's 1969 trial, the bullet - suggested by prosecutors to match Sirhan's .22-calibre Iver-Johnson Cadet revolver - is referenced "DWTN".
"Those markings showed that the bullet they put into evidence was different to the one Noguchi, the medical examiner, removed from Kennedy's neck," said Dr Pepper. "This was a fraud perpetrated on the court. Under the law they should set aside the verdict and re-try Sirhan or set him free.
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