US & Canada

Robert Kennedy's killer Sirhan Sirhan is denied parole

Sirhan Sirhan
Image caption Sirhan said he wanted to get "lost in the woodwork" if released

The man who assassinated US Democratic senator and presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy has been denied parole.

Sirhan Sirhan says he does not remember shooting Kennedy at a Los Angeles hotel in 1968 on the day he won the California Democratic presidential primary.

Sirhan, a Palestinian Christian, was convicted in 1969 of murder.

The California parole board said it was his 13th effort to win release; he will be considered again in five years.

Early in the morning of 6 June 1968, Kennedy had narrowly won the Democratic presidential primary election in California.

After giving a victory speech to supporters at the Ambassador Hotel, Kennedy entered the kitchen to exit the hotel when six shots rang out, fatally wounding him. Five others were injured but survived.

Rosey Grier, a former professional football player and member of Kennedy's entourage, and another man tackled the gunman and fought off a mob that lunged at him.

Image caption Robert Kennedy was the younger brother of President John F Kennedy

Kennedy was the younger brother of President John F Kennedy, who was killed by an assassin's bullet in November 1963.

Sirhan was sentenced to death in April 1969 but that sentence was commuted in 1972 when the US Supreme Court temporarily banned capital punishment.

"Every day of my life, I have great remorse and deep regret," Sirhan, 66, told parole commissioners during a four-hour hearing on Wednesday at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, the Associated Press reported.

He begged for release, saying he wanted to "get lost in the woodwork" and live out the rest of his life.

He also said he expected he would be deported to Jordan, from where he immigrated, if released and would accept that.

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