Judge Finds Four in Contempt in Bombing Probe
WASHINGTON (AP) _ A judge found four activists in contempt Tuesday for refusing to testify before a grand jury about bombings at the U.S. Capitol and other federal buildings.
U.S. District Judge Aubrey E. Robinson Jr. temporarily postponed jailing the four until the Bureau of Prisons can make suitable arrangements. He said he did not want to send them to the District of Columbia jail.
The activists can be jailed for up to 18 months or for the life of the grand jury, whichever comes first. The grand jury is due to expire at the end of March but could be extended indefinitely.
The four, who identified themselves as current or former members of the John Brown Anti-Klan Committee, said on Jan. 15 they had no knowledge of the bombings but sympathized with the groups that have claimed responsibility.
At that time, they said they would not cooperate with the grand jury even though they were told they were not the target of the investigation.
On Tuesday, each refused to be sworn in or answer any questions asked by the grand jury, federal prosecutor E. Lawrence Barcella Jr. told the judge.
Before going before the grand jury, the four read a statement on the courthouse steps in which they said, ″We are resisting the government’s attempts - through the grand jury - to silence us and criminalize the political movements of which we are a part.″
″We each have a deep personal commitment to resist the U.S. war machine and to fight against injustice ... We think that it is particularly appropriate to reaffirm this commitment, as the U.S. government prepares to launch the largest naval maneuvers ever in the Caribbean, a dress rehearsal for an invasion in Central America.″
The activists are Steven Burke, 25, of Washington, and Julie Nalibov, 24, Christine Rico, 24, and Sandra Gayle Roland, 25, all of New York.
The blasts occurred in April 1983 at the War College at Fort McNair; in August 1983 at a computer complex at the Washington Navy Yard; in November 1983 at the Capitol; and in April 1984 at the Navy Yard officers’ club. There were no injuries.