Sirhan Sirhan back in prison after surviving stabbing: Attorney

Sirhan was convicted of the fatal 1968 shooting of Robert F. Kennedy.

September 1, 2019, 8:15 PM

Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Robert F. Kennedy, has returned to prison after being treated at a California hospital following a stabbing on Friday, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, as well as Sirhan’s attorney.

"There was an assault on an inmate on Friday, August 30 at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility at 2:21 p.m,” said a statement released to ABC News by the state corrections department on Sunday. "Officers responded quickly, and found an inmate with stab wound injuries. He was transported to an outside hospital for medical care.”

"The victim of the attack has since been released from the hospital and is back at the institution," the statement continued. "The suspect in the attack has been identified, and has been placed in the prison’s Administrative Segregation Unit, pending an investigation."

The statement did not name the inmate, but Sirhan's attorney Laurie Dusek confirmed to ABC News that her client was the victim of the stabbing.

Sirhan was convicted of of the 1968 assassination of Kennedy, the Democratic presidential candidate.

Dusek and Sirhan’s brother, Munir Sirhan, 72, said they were unable to reach him for two days after the incident.

"There’s been a lot of anguish and fear in not knowing where he is or how he’s doing,” Munir Sirhan, 72, told ABC News in a phone interview.

PHOTO: Sirhan Sirhan, right, accused assassin of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy with his attorney Russell E. Parsons in Los Angeles, June 1968.
Sirhan Sirhan, right, accused assassin of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy with his attorney Russell E. Parsons in Los Angeles, June 1968.

Both Munir Sirhan and Dusek said they had suspicions about what may have happened, but declined to elaborate until they’d spoken directly with the wounded inmate.

Sirhan said that he corresponds by letter with his incarcerated sibling weekly.

Asked whether his brother had expressed any concerns about his safety in recent weeks, Munir Sirhan said he had, but declined to offer details.

"He has, but I’d rather not elaborate because I’m not certain,” Sirhan’s brother said. "Maybe I could shed a little bit of light: the prison took him out of his two or three-year job assignment. He was on a kitchen detail and I have no idea why. I don’t know if that’s any indication” of a threat to the inmate’s safety, Munir Sirhan said. “My main concern is not being able to get ahold of him.”

Sirhan was in stable condition as of Saturday, The Associated Press reported.

Dusek issued a statement to ABC News late Sunday evening.

"I finally met with our client today and can report he is recovering from the brutal assault that occurred while in the custody of the California Department of Corrections," she said in the statement. "According to Mr. Sirhan, the medical care he received was swift and good. However, this assault underscores how dangerous our prison system is and the immediate and urgent need for safety reform. This kind of attack never should have happened."

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events