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Free Pun!

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Prospects for getting back down out in the streets with his sisters and brothers after some 20 months of exile and jail brightened considerably for brother Pun Plamondon at a hearing last Monday, May 17th, in the CIA Conspiracy Trial. Pun, charged along with John Sinclair and Jack Forrest with a bogus bombing conspiracy rap in connection with the 1968 explosion at the Ann Arbor office of the Central Intelligence Agency, is held at gunpoint by the U.S. government in lieu of $100,000 ransom. Defense motions presented Monday seeking reduction of the exorbitant bond, however, appear headed f or almost certain success.

Defense attorney Buck Davis of the National Lawyer's Guild effectively destroyed any pretext for the ridiculous ransom. Arguing principally that bond in that amount is no bond at all, is designed only to ensure Pun's continued incarceration, and as such tromps all over the Constitutionally mandated presumption of innocence that's supposed to prevail until the defendant can be proven guilty at trial. Referring to Judge Keith's previous ruling that wiretaps of Pun's phone conversations made by Attorney General Mitchell were illegal, Buck pointed out the basic contradiction that "Pun stays in jail, unconvicted of any crime, while the man whom this court determined to have violated Pun's rights remains free."

In reaction to Buck's blistering attack, the government stipulated to dropping the surety requirement on the $100,000 bond, which in effect means that they would agree to requiring only 10% of the total ransom. This would mean that only $10,000 would have to be posted, which could be done by a bondsman if necessary at a cost of $1,000. Judge Keith took the motion and the government's response under advisement, and a ruling is expected within a few days. It is anticipated that he will at least drop the surety requirement, and he may go further towards justice and reduce Pun's bond lower.

Pun still faces charges of "sale of marijuana" (a snitch sneaking two roaches out of an ashtray at a party and claiming one came from a joint rolled by Pun) in Traverse City, a federal charge of possession of a fake draft card, and distribution of "obscene" literature (the original White Panther Party Ten Point Program and State/Meant) in Ann Arbor. In the event that bond is posted in the CIA Conspiracy case, new bonds would have to be set and struggled over in these other cases before Pun could stroll down South U. again. But that day may soon be here, sisters and brothers, and a beautiful day it will be.

-- Dave Sinclair