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- Palestinian convicted for the assassination of United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy
A key witness to the 1968 assassination of Robert F. Kennedy has retracted her official statements in the case and now claims that convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan did not act alone.
Nina Rhodes-Hughes, 78, tells CNN that the FBI "twisted" her original statements to authorities. In recent court filings led by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, state prosecutors argue that even if there were a second gunman on the scene, Sirhan is still guilty of murder.
"What has to come out is that there was another shooter to my right," Rhodes told CNN. "The truth has got to be told. No more cover-ups."
Rhodes' original FBI statement says she only heard 8 gunshots at the time and makes no mention of a second shooter. However, Rhodes, who was just feet away from Kennedy says she never claimed to have only heard 8 shots.
"I never said eight shots. I never, never said it. There were more than eight shots," she told CNN. "There were at least 12, maybe 14. And I know there were because I heard the rhythm in my head."
Last November, Sirhan's attorneys announced they were filing a challenge to the verdict, alleging a conspiracy by authorities in the case. They are asking that Sirhan be released from prison. His attorneys argue that Sirhan was the victim of a malicious form of "hypo programming" that falsely caused him to believe he was RFK's assassin.
"For me it's hopeful and sad that it's only coming out now instead of before--but at least now instead of never," Rhodes told CNN.
Rhodes was never called as a witness in Sirhan's trial but claims she gave an interview shortly after the shooting during which she claimed to have heard at least a dozen shots.
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