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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Petition To OAS: Sirhan Wrongfully Convicted In 1968 RFK Murder

Historic petition to OAS seeks retrial or hearing  

By Andrew Kreig
07/17/2017

Famed attorney, noted author, and human rights advocate Dr. William F. Pepper announced July 17 that he is filing a petition to the Organization of American States (OAS) seeking justice for his imprisoned client Sirhan B. Sirhan.


The filing describes Sirhan (shown upon his arrest) as wrongfully convicted of the 1968 assassination of Pepper’s friend, Robert F. Kennedy, the late New York U.S. senator and Democratic presidential candidate. Pepper presents his evidence and arguments at a 10 a.m. news conference on July 20 at the National Press Club, located at 529 14th St., NW, Washington, DC. Seeking a new trial for Sirhan or an evidentiary hearing, Pepper’s petition against the U.S. government is being filed on July 19, 2017 with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an OAS body. 


The filing alleges that the California and U.S. justice systems violated Sirhan's right to a fair trial, as required under the OAS Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. 

By treaty, the IACHR may review U.S. cases and those from 34 other nations when domestic remedies have been exhausted.




“Among the many abuses that I have discovered,” said Pepper, “the petition describes how Sirhan’s late defense counsel, Grant Cooper, was compromised by a secretly pending felony indictment. It posed a major conflict that deprived Sirhan of effective counsel. Cooper conducted no independent investigation. He explicitly accepted his client's guilt and the state's case without real challenge.”

“According to many witnesses," Pepper continued, "additional shots were fired by a second assailant during the attack on June 5, 1968 after Kennedy won California’s Democratic primary for that year’s presidential race.”


Cyril H. Wecht
Among those supporting the petition are Paul Schrade, an RFK friend who was shot by Sirhan, and the noted forensic pathologist Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D., shown at left in a file photo in his lab and as amplified in an announcement today below. Wecht, a consultant, widely published author, and medical school professor, numbers among his professional leadership posts many medical and civic groups, including chairmanship of Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA), a co-sponsor of the news conference and petition, as is the Justice Integrity Project.


Schrade (shown below being revived at the scene in Los Angeles after being shot by Sirhan in the head) unsuccessfully begged a California parole commission in February 2016 to free Sirhan as innocent of killing Kennedy.


A gravely wounded Paul Schrade 

Dr. Thomas Noguchi
Dr. Thomas Noguchi, the then-Los Angeles County medical examiner (shown at right), is among those who have cited evidence that Kennedy was killed from behind. Sirhan was in front of the senator firing shots, one of which hit Schrade in the forehead.

Schrade's reaction to the parole board's summary denial of parole for Sirhan, 73, last year is shown below in an Associated Press pool photo of the hearing, from which other photographers were barred. Sirhan became eligible for release on parole in the early 1980s because he has been a model prisoner according to virtually every account. 


But California authorities denied parole last year. That meant that Sirhan, now 73, will not be eligible again for review for four more years. 


Schrade reacts to parole board ruling
The Justice Integrity Project will post on its website the petition and sample expert statements, and is introducing Pepper both at the news conference and at a dinner at the press club the previous evening, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend the lecture and optional "Dutch Treat" dinner organized by the McClendon Group speaker society. Details are reported here: RFK, MLK Friend To Speak July 19 In DC About Media Flaws, Failures.

About Dr. William F. Pepper

Dr. William F. Pepper is an American lawyer and English barrister. A 1960s friend of Robert F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he believes that both of their accused killers were wrongly accused for political reasons. His books include the acclaimed The Plot To Kill King(2016), third in a series on the King assassination. It contains the evidence that Pepper first presented in a civil trial in Memphis in 1999. He won that trial, which exonerated James Earl Ray.


Dr. William F. Pepper

Pepper was Kennedy’s Westchester County campaign chairman in the 1964 U.S. Senate race and became convinced of Sirhan's innocence in 2007. In a separate event at the National Press Club on July 19, Pepper signs books and speaks at 7 p.m. about democratic values before the Sarah McClendon speaker society (chaired by the late newswoman's former colleague John Edward Hurley), preceded by an optional “Dutch treat” dinner. The public is welcome. 

About the Justice Integrity Project, Citizens Against Political Assassinations, and The Indicter

The Justice Integrity Project (www.justice-integrity.org) reports about suppressed news. Its editor Andrew Kreig will introduce Dr. Pepper. Kreig is a volunteer board member for two other event co-sponsors: Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA) (www.capa-us.org) and The Indicter (http://theindicter.com), a Europe-based human rights magazine for which Kreig serves as an associate editor. ## 

Coming next: More experts speak out as below!






Andrew Kreig

Andrew Kreig, Esq.
Andrew Kreig is Justice Integrity Project Executive Director and co-founder with over two decades experience as an attorney and non-profit executive in Washington, DC.

An author and longtime investigative reporter, his primary focus since 2008 has been exploring allegations of official corruption and other misconduct in federal agencies. He has been a consultant and volunteer leader in advising several non-profit groups fostering cutting-edge applications within the communications industries.
  
As president and CEO of the Wireless Communications Association International (WCAI) from 1996 until 2008, Kreig led its worldwide advocacy that helped create the broadband wireless industry. Previously, he was WCAI vice president and general counsel, an associate at Latham & Watkins, law clerk to a federal judge, author of the book Spiked about the newspaper business and a longtime reporter for the Hartford Courant.

Listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World from the mid-1990s and currently, he holds law degrees from the University of Chicago School of Law and from Yale Law School. Reared in New York City, his undergraduate degree in history is from Cornell University, where he was a student newspaper editor, rowing team member, and Golden Gloves boxer.

Contact the author Andrew Kreig.

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