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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

In deference to Kennedy family, panel postpones decision on Zapruder film


July 19, 1999
Web posted at: 10:59 a.m. EDT (1459 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, July 19) -- A three-judge panel that was to announce Monday how much the U.S. government should pay the family of Abraham Zapruder for his famous film of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy says it will postpone the announcement in deference to the Kennedy family.

The panel, set up to determine the worth of the film, already has made its decision and was to announce it at noon Monday . But it told CNN it was delaying the announcement for a week or more.

Kennedy's son, John F. Kennedy Jr., as well as his wife and her sister, are presumed dead after his private plane apparently crashed Friday night in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

Referring to the plane crash, U.S. District Judge Arlin Adams of the panel told CNN on Monday: "They (the Kennedy family) had enough problems. They didn't need this. The three of us decided over the weekend to postpone it for a week or whatever.

The Justice Department and the Zapruder family agreed to use the three-judge panel to determine the worth of the film, which clearly and graphically shows President Kennedy's assassination. Its value has been disputed for decades. The government says the family should receive $1 million for the 8mm film, which was acquired by the Assassination Records Review Board. The Zapruder family contends it is worth $30 million.

Adams said the judges did not consult with the Zapruder family before making the decision to delay.

The government is compensating the family for the actual 28-second film; the family retains reproduction and royalty rights. The film is now preserved in a cold storage vault at the National Archives facility in suburban Washington.


Monday, July 19, 1999

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