Sirhan Sirhan said today he wants to return to the hotel where Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968 to try to remember if he was a "Manchurian candidate" programmed to commit the killing, his lawyer said.
"He wants to go back to the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles so he can visualize it," attorney Godfrey Isaacs said after meeting for three hours and 15 minutes with Sirhan and two Los Angeles County public officials interessted in reopening the case.
The meeting was held at Soledad Prison, 100 miles south of San Francisco, where Sirhan is serving his life term.
"He wants to know himself - did he or did he not kill Bobby Kennedy," Isaacs said.
Sirhan claimed during his 3 1/2-month trial that he went into a trance shortly before the killing and did not remember anything until later, when he was restrained by members of Kenndey's party.
Asked whether Sirhan mentioned a conspiracy in the slaying of the presidential candidate, Isaacs said:
"He said unequivocally that he knows nothing of any conspiracy. But when asked about the 'Manchurian candidate' theory and others influencing him, he said he didn't know."
Sirhan wore a T-shirt, jeans and tennis shoes during the meeting with Isaacs and Los Angeles County Supervisors Baxter Ward and Kenneth Hahn and was described by them as friendly and alert. They said he reiterated his antagonism toward Kennedy's support of Israel as a possible cause for his action.
The supervisors asked him a list of questions prepared by district attorney's investigators in a locked conference room with guards standing outside.
The Palestinian immigrant, now 33, was convicted of fatally shooting Kennedy nine years ago this Sunday and was senteenced to death. But his life was spared when the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional.
The supervisors and Isaacs said they believed hypnosis would be a "valuable" tool to clear Sirhan's memory of the assassination.