Sinclair Court Hassles

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Fifth Estate # 81, June 12-25, 1969

The police conspiracy out to put White Panther leader John Sinclair behind bars has suffered several important setbacks in the last few weeks.

First, sentencing of Sinclair was postponed until June 10 on his Oakland County conviction of assaulting a police officer after attorney William Segesta brought in new evidence and asked for a new trial.

The owner of the rock club where the incident occurred last July is now willing to testify that he overheard the pigs Sinclair is accused of attacking, plotting to “get” the MC5 and later witnessed the assault incident where Sinclair was the victim and not the assailant.

On Sinclair’s more serious charge of dispensing and possession of marijuana, a crime punishable by up to life imprisonment, Recorder’s Court Judge Robert Colombo has adjourned the case until June 24.

Colombo said he would use the time to study motions brought by defense attorney, Justin Ravitz, that charges be dropped because of entrapment by the arresting officers.

“I have some very grave reservations on the first count, that of sale or dispensing,” said Colombo. “I’m also very interested in Mr. Ravitz” argument. It raises some very real and serious questions regarding possible entrapment.”

In still another development, Sinclair’s pre-trial examination was held in Federal District Court May 23 for “failing to register as a narcotics offender” when he went to Canada. Attorneys for Sinclair on this charge think the government’s case is extremely weak and chances for acquittal are good.

The White Panthers have asked that as many supporters as possible attend the trials and other proceedings that Brother Sinclair is facing. Call the Fifth Estate or the White Panther headquarters (769-2017) for exact times and dates.

What does Sinclair think about all the shit he is being put through?

“I’m still on the street,” said the White Panther Minister of Information.

Let’s keep him there.

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