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SLA's Violent History Can Be Told at Olson Trial, Panel Says

November 02, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A judge's ruling that the violent history of the Symbionese Liberation Army can be presented Symbionese Liberation Army can be presented at the trial of Sara Jane Olson remained unchanged Wednesday after a state appeals court denied a defense bid to bar the information.

Attorneys for the Minnesota woman, who was a fugitive for 23 years while under indictment for an alleged attempt to bomb Los Angeles police vehicles, had asked the 2nd District Court of Appeal on Aug. 7 to overturn the January ruling by Superior Court Judge James Ideman.

The judge ruled that prosecutors could discuss the group's history and philosophy when Olson goes on trial, now scheduled for Jan. 8.

The defense says Olson was not involved with the SLA when many of the group's sensational crimes were carried out.

Olson, formerly known as Kathleen Soliah, is accused of attempting to murder Los Angeles police officers by placing pipe bombs under two squad cars in 1975. The bombs did not detonate and no one was hurt.

Olson was indicted in 1976 and remained a fugitive until her arrest last year in Minnesota, where she had lived as a wife and mother. She is free on $1-million bail.

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