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Wednesday, June 12, 2024 | Back issues
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CIA Sued for Kennedy Assassination Records

(CN) - The CIA improperly withheld records on five people who may have been involved in the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and his brother, Sen. Robert Kennedy, a lawyer claims in court.

Anthony Bothwell demands a court order forcing CIA Director John Brennan and the agency to produce long-shielded records on three men allegedly connected to the former president's Nov. 22, 1963 assassination, and two men reportedly tied to his brother's murder on June 5, 1968.

In his federal lawsuit filed in San Francisco, on the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination, Bothwell says the agency refused to release records on David Sanchez Morales, Johnny Roselli and Jean Souetre in connection with JFK's death.

Bothwell claims that Morales, the operations chief of the CIA's Miami office in 1963, was heard plotting the president's assassination and later bragging that "we" -- a potential reference to rogue CIA agents -- got rid of JFK and his brother, Bobby Kennedy.

Roselli was a Chicago mobster associated with Jack Ruby, the man who shot and killed JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, according to Bothwell's lawsuit. The mafioso was brutally murdered in 1976 shortly before he was scheduled to testify before a senate committee investigating rogue CIA operations, Bothwell claims.

Two popular conspiracy theories pin the assassination on the CIA or the mafia.

Jean Souetre, also known as Michel Mertz and Michel Roux, was a sniper for the French Secret Army Organization who was rumored to have been involved in an attempt to assassinate Gen. Charles de Gaulle.

Souetre was reportedly in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, and Bothwell claims he was deported by the CIA immediately after the assassination, fueling speculation of a second shooter.

The CIA denied Bothwell's request for records on the three men in April 2009, allegedly stating that "previously released" records did not include any generated during the requested time frame. It also claimed that any records on Souetre would be exempt as "intelligence sources and methods information," Bothwell claims.

However, the attorney says the agency "failed to address whether such records existed."

Bothwell also seeks records on Thane Eugene Cesar and Enrique "Hank" Hernandez in connection with the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, who was shot in the back of the head at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968.

Though a Palestinian-Jordanian immigrant named Sirhan Sirhan is serving life in prison for the crime, Bothwell notes that Cesar -- a Los Angeles police sergeant with CIA training -- was in the hotel ballroom that fateful night.

The lawsuit describes Hernandez as a former hotel security guard who "pulled a revolver while standing behind Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in the Ambassador Hotel pantry and later admitted that he got gun powder burns on his face."

Bothwell is a San Francisco attorney who graduated from the John F. Kennedy School of Law and later taught courses there.

Neither he nor the government immediately responded to requests for comment.

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