Judge refuses to limit evidence in Olson trial
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A Los Angeles superior court judge ruled Friday that evidence and information relating to the Symbionese Liberation Army and a former fugitive's past involvement with it can be used against her in her trial.
The defense had sought to limit the evidence, but Judge Larry Fidler ruled that evidence about the 1970s underground organization could be included, even evidence prior to the time Sara Jane Olson joined it.
"I'm outraged by what happened," Olson said outside the courthouse. "This is a case in which they're trying to take away my freedom forever and destroy me and destroy my family."
Olson was arrested in 1999 after eluding authorities for 25 years. She is accused of planting two bombs, neither of which detonated, under a Los Angeles police car in retaliation for the deaths of six SLA members at the hands of police in 1974.
"I was not in Los Angeles. I did not place those bombs under those cars," Olson said. "I am innocent."
Olson said the case had been politicized by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles district attorney. "I look forward, in the long run, to having my innocence proved. But it's certainly been an ordeal, and it will continue to be."
A date for trial has not been set. Olson's attorneys have argued repeatedly that more time is needed to study some 15,000 pages of evidence and prepare for 150 prosecution witnesses.
Olson, formerly known as Kathleen Anne Soliah, was a member of the SLA, a militant revolutionary group in the 1970s. Her arrest came shortly after the airing of an episode of "America's Most Wanted" marking the 25th anniversary of a fiery shootout between the LAPD and the SLA in which six members died.
The 1974 investigation helped authorities find newspaper heiress Patty Hearst, who had been kidnapped by SLA members and forced to join the group. Hearst, recently pardoned by President Clinton, is scheduled to testify in the Olson case.
Olson is free on bail. She was apprehended in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she lived in relative obscurity, married and raising three children.
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