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Robert F Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan recommended for parole after 53 yrs

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Robert F Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan recommended for parole after 53 yrs
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Sirhan Sirhan arrives for a parole hearing on Friday. Photo: AP

Washington: The 77-year-old Sirhan Sirhan, the man who has spent 53 years in jail on the charge of killing Robert F Kennedy, a New York senator and brother of President John F Kennedy, was granted parole on Friday.

Two of the former attorney general, senator and presidential hopeful's sons were said to have spoken in favour of Sirhan's release. The decision was a major victory for Sirhan, though it did not assure his release.

The recommendation on Friday came after the late Senator's sons, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Douglas Kennedy, supported the 77-year-old Palestinian convict's release during his 16th appearance before the parole board, a CNN report said.

Sirhan has been incarcerated at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation since May 1969 after being convicted of first-degree murder and assault with intent to murder.

During Friday's virtual hearing, Douglas Kennedy said that he was "overwhelmed" to see the person who gunned down his father when he was just two years old. "I think I've lived my life both in fear of him and his name in one way or another. And I am grateful today to see him as a human being worthy of compassion and love," the CNN report quoted Douglas Kennedy as further saying.

However, despite the recommendation, California Governor Gavin Newsom can still reverse the decision. Hence, Sirhan's fate now lies in the hands of Newsom.

On June 6, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy, who had also served as the 64th Attorney General of the US, was shot dead by Sirhan, then 24 years old, in the kitchen of The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles moments after delivering a victory speech in the pivotal California primary.

Sirhan, who insists he doesn't remember the shooting and had been drinking alcohol just beforehand, was convicted of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to death after his conviction, but that sentence was commuted to life when the California Supreme Court briefly outlawed capital punishment in 1972.

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TAGS:Robert F. Kennedy assassination Sirhan Sirhan parole 
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