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U.S.A.: JURY ACQUITS TWO MEN ON CHARGES OF KIDNAPPING LIQUOR HEIR SAMUEL BRONFMAN.


Story

In the United States a jury has acquitted two men charged with kidnapping Seagrams liquor heir Samuel Bronfman. The prosecution alleged Irish immigrants Mel Patrick Lynch and Dominic Byrne tied Bronfman up using a piece of rope submitted as evidence. But according to the jurors, it virtually fell apart when pulled. However, the State Supreme Court jury of seven women and five men did find Lynch and Byrn guilty of grand larceny through extortion. The defence contended during the trial that Bronfman was Lynch's homosexual lover. Robert Hagar of NBC News takes up the story.

Reference 11205/76
Tape
Issue
Can 16656
Source NBC
Restrictions Restrictions on certain uses may apply, and may vary from those listed.
Time code
Date original 10 DECEMBER, 1976
Duration 1.58
Technical C/M MAG V/P D/N
Subset Reuters TV - RTV Post 1957
Location WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK STATE, USA
Sound ENGLISH SPEECH AND COMMENTARY
Colourbw
Barcode
Master
Dub
Vhs

1. SV Bronfman family leaving courtroom, White Plains, USA 0.05
2. SV Samuel Bronfman seated for news conference 0.10
3. SV Bronfman speaking 0.30
4. SV Two jury members at news conference 0.37
5. CU Juror William Link speaking (3 shots) 1.17
6. SV Prosecutor Geoffrey Orlando speaking 1.58
TRANSCRIPT: HAGAR: "The Bronfman family called today's verdict a miscarriage of justice. And Sam Bronfman said it wasn't a hoax, he's not a homosexual and he's angry."
SEQ. 3: SAMUEL BRONFMAN: "I think its pretty sad, its a pretty sad system when you have a guy who gets kidnapped and his kidnappers are caught red-handed, and they get off. It distresses me a lot, it makes me mad. It makes me really mad."
HAGAR: "Two jurors who talked with reporters after the verdict said they found Lynch and Byrne innocent because they were convinced the kidnapping was a hoax."
"First of all the ropes. Now the ropes fell apart in the jury room as we were looking at them. Now if this was a real kidnapping, I believe I'd have stronger ropes if I was going to hold somebody, I mean really hold somebody. The way he testified, on the tapes and in the courtroom, that's why I believe it was a hoax. When he was testifying on the stand, he was looking at Mr. Orlando and he was looking at the jury, he started to break down.
The judge would say to him 'Excuse me, Mr. Bronfman, what was that, I couldn't heart it?' and right away he would recompose himself, turn around and face the judge and say in a normal voice what he had told us. Then he would turn around to face us again and go into the act again, what I considered an act. This is what I considered."
HAGAR: "But prosecutor Geoffrey Orlando said he and the FBI long ago thoroughly investigated the possibility of a hoax and found absolutely no evidence to support it."
"Before we went to trial we were firmly convinced, based upon our investigations and the facts in our possession, that Sam Bronfman was kidnapped by Mel Lynch and Dominic Bryne, that he was not a homosexual, that he never perpetrated or tried to perpetrate any kind of a hoax on his dad, before, during or after the kidnapping. And that all of the allegations against Sam Bronfman were absolutely untrue and the defendants, in our opinion, based on our investigation, were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."
ADDITIONAL NOTES: The kidnapping which led to the charges took place in August, 1974 on Bronfman's mother's estate.

InitialsOS
TELERECORDING ROBERT HAGAR
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

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