The man convicted of assassinating Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 was brainwashed into shooting him by a mysterious girl in a polka dot dress, his lawyers have claimed.
2:01PM BST 29 Apr 2011
In a bizarre twist more than forty years after the high-profile killing, lawyers for Sirhan Sirhan, the Palestinian man convicted of the shooting, have submitted new evidence which they say shows their client was manipulated by the mystery girl and had no sense of what he was doing.
"I thought that I was at the (rifle) range more than I was shooting at any person, let alone Bobby Kennedy," Mr Sirhan told a hypnotist hired by his legal team to interview him about the murder. "I didn't know that I had a gun."
The papers, which have been filed in a federal court, suggest that Sirhan was used as a decoy and a second person actually shot and killed Kennedy.
The assassination of Bobby Kennedy at a hotel in Los Angeles on 5 June 1968 rocked the US political establishment, robbing the Democratic party of a promising presidential candidate and came just five years after his brother, President John F. Kennedy, was shot dead.
Now aged 67 and serving life in prison, Mr Sirhan is mounting a fresh attempt to portray himself as an innocent.
Under hypnosis, he said that a mystery girl had let him into the pantry of the hotel where the shooting had taken place and had pinched him on the shoulder, a gesture which he said had sent him into "range mode." In that mode, all he could see were circles with targets in front of his eyes as if he was on a firing range, he claimed. "I was fascinated with her looks," he said. "She never said much. It was very erotic. I was consumed by her. She was a seductress with an unspoken unavailability." Witnesses have spoken in the past of seeing a mystery girl running from the hotel shouting "We shot Kennedy" but she has never been identified.
Sirhan was denied parole in March by a panel that said he had not shown sufficient remorse for the killing.