A Santa Monica Superior Court jury will reconvene this morning to consider whether the Globe tabloid must pay punitive damages in addition to a $675,000 libel award for falsely suggesting that a Bakersfield farmer was the assassin of Robert F. Kennedy.
After a nearly four-week trial that featured an extensive review of the June 5, 1968, shooting of Kennedy in Los Angeles, the jury Friday found that the Globe must pay Khalid Khawar for injury to his reputation and emotional distress.
The tabloid newspaper in April, 1989, carried a story on a book by author Robert Morrow, entitled "The Senator Must Die: The Murder of Robert F. Kennedy," which alleged that a secret Iranian police hit squad--and not convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan--was responsible for the slaying.
The article was accompanied by a photograph showing Kennedy claiming victory in the California Democratic presidential primary on stage at the Ambassador Hotel moments before he was killed. Over the photo was an arrow pointing to Khawar, then a young free-lance photographer, who was clad in a yellow sweater and carrying a camera while standing not far from Kennedy.