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Man who killed Robert Kennedy recommended for parole after 53-years in jail

The Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy's whose assassin has been granted parole after 53 years in jail (Pic Courtesy Twitter/@RobertKennedy)

A California board has voted to grant parole to the assassin of Democratic 1968 US presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy.

Sirhan Sirhan served 53 years in jail for shooting the frontrunner for the President’s post after a speech at a Los Angeles hotel, changing the course of history.

The board voted for allowing him to walk out of prison after Robert F Kennedy’s sons spoke in favour of release and prosecutors declined to argue he should be kept behind bars.

The decision was a major victory for Sirhan Sirhan, 77, though it did not assure his release.

The decision to free him from prison now falls to Californian Governor Gavin Newsom.

Sirhan Sirhan

"Over half a century has passed. That young impulsive kid I was does not exist anymore," Sirhan told the board, according to the Associated Press, the only news agency that was allowed to attend his parole hearing.

"Senator Kennedy was the hope of the world and I injured, and I harmed all of them and it pains me to experience that, the knowledge for such a horrible deed," he added.

The local district attorney's office in LA has said that they will not move to oppose his release.

Now 77, the Palestinian-born assassin was requesting parole for the 16th time. He said after his arrest he had carried out his attack as he was furious over Robert Kennedy’s support for US aid to Israel.

The board's decision came after two of Kennedy's sons appealed to the parole board to release their father's killer.

"I really do believe any prisoner who is found to be not a threat to themselves or the world should be released," Douglas Kennedy said, according to the Associated Press.

According to the AP report, Douglas Kennedy said he was moved to tears by Sirhan’s remorse and he should be released if he’s not a threat to others.

 “I’m overwhelmed just by being able to view Mr Sirhan face-to-face,” he said. “I think I’ve lived my life both in fear of him and his name in one way or another. And I am grateful today to see him as a human being worthy of compassion and love.”