NEW YORK (Apr. 27)
Avraham Hershkowitz, 26-year-old Jewish Defense League member who was sentenced last week to a five year prison term scheduled to begin May 7, was suddenly taken into custody by Federal agents today in what a JDL spokesman termed a “surprise and shocking move.” According to the spokesman, U.S. District Court Judge John R. Bartels, who handed down the sentence to Hershkowitz, had agreed last week to a plea by Hershkowitz’s lawyer for a two-week stay of execution provided an additional $15,000 bail would be posted on Monday. At the bail hearing yesterday, Prosecutor Anthony Lombardino demanded that a much larger sum of bail money be posted, in addition to the $50,000 bail posted three weeks ago when Hershkowitz was first released.
At the bail hearing which was reconvened today. Judge Bartels suddenly reversed his previous decision, and Hershkowitz was immediately whisked away to the Federal House of Detention in Manhattan, Rabbi Meir Kahane, JDL National Chairman, announced today that a massive rally will be held on Thursday. “Yom Haatzamut” in front of the detention headquarters to protest the judge’s reversal and Hershkowitz’s prison term. Hershkowitz and his 19-year-old wife Nancy, who was scheduled to be sentenced next month, are charged with falsifying passports when they purchased tickets September on a London-bound plane under the assumed names of Gordon Joseph Rider and Nancy McGovern. It was alleged that they were on their way to London to hijack an Arab airplane to Israel in retaliation for the Arab terrorist hijackings, but this charge was later dropped.