A Californian parole board has voted to grant prison release to the murderer of Democratic 1968 presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy (RFK).

Sirhan Sirhan served 53 years in jail for shooting the frontrunner after a speech at a Los Angeles hotel, arguably altering the course of history.

The vote, establishing that he is not a public threat, does not necessarily guarantee he will walk free.

The decision now falls to Californian Governor Gavin Newsom.

The Democrat is currently in the throes of an election campaign.

“Over half a century has passed,” Sirhan reportedly told parole commissioners.

“That young impulsive kid I was does not exist anymore.”
“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 according to the Associated Press, the only news agency that was allowed to attend his parole hearing.

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 over the then-senator’s support for US aid to Israel. He later said he had no memory of the attack.

The board’s decision came after two of Kennedy’s children 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.