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Appeals Court Upholds Delay in Olson's Trial

July 04, 2001|From a Times Staff Writer

A California appeals court on Tuesday refused to set aside its decision to delay the bomb conspiracy trial of Sara Jane Olson until September.

Instead, the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled in a 2-1 decision that the alleged Symbionese Liberation Army member, who is charged with conspiring in 1975 to kill two Los Angeles police officers by placing bombs under two squad cars, is entitled to more time to prepare and moved the start date from early September to Sept. 24.

Prosecutors with the Los Angeles County district attorney's office argued to the court on June 22 that Olson's attorneys have had more than enough time to prepare.

Olson, formerly known as Kathleen Soliah, was arrested in St. Paul, Minn., in 1999 after more than two decades in hiding.

The appeals court sided with Olson's attorneys, who said that prosecutors inundated them with thousands of documents at the last minute and that they cannot be ready before September. The panel said Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler abused his discretion by refusing to grant the continuance in April.

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