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Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 21:30:58 -0800
From: radtimes <email@example.com>
Subject: Patty Hearst speaks before SLA trial
Patty Hearst speaks before SLA trial
Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles
Thursday January 24, 2002
Patty Hearst, the newspaper heiress who was kidnapped by Symbionese
Liberation Army urban guerrillas in 1974, said yesterday that the group had
had their "own little jihad" against the United States.
Ms Hearst, who later joined the group and was convicted of taking part in
an SLA robbery, is to be the chief prosecution witness against four alleged
members charged with murder committed during another robbery.
Ms Hearst used the Larry King show on CNN to make a damaging attack on the
people she claims took part in a 1975 robbery in Carmichael, California, in
which a bank customer was shot dead. Ms Hearst, who has been given
immunity, drove the getaway car.
"This was not a robbery," she said, explaining that the group saw it as
part of a war against the US.
"It was an expropriation. It was a combat operation." She described the
shooting as a "violent, senseless, evil act".
Of the SLA she said: "It was a very strange group of people bound by the
SLA codes of war and they followed them very religiously. It really was
their own little jihad."
Lawyers for the four people charged with the robbery and murder have
suggested that Ms Hearst, 47, is an unreliable witness who has already been
convicted of taking part in another robbery and who has her own motives for
She served nearly two years but was pardoned by President Clinton last year.
"I've lived my entire life haunted by what happened," said Ms Hearst, who
is married to Bernard Shaw, her former bodyguard and plays parts in small
independent films. They live with their two children in Connecticut.
She described how, after she was kidnapped, she was tortured and
brainwashed by the SLA so that she would take part in the robberies. In
consequence she had felt "guilt and self-loathing and despair and pain".
Ms Hearst wrote a book about her experiences in 1982 but apart from a
magazine interview in 2000 she declined to discuss her past until the King
Sara Jane Olson, Bill and Emily Harris and Mike Bortin have pleaded not
guilty to the murder. A fifth person charged, Jim Kilgore, has been missing
for the past 25 years.
Ms Hearst said: "There is a feeling of relief. Something is finally
happening where these people are going to at least stand trial for their acts."
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