NEW YORK (Jun. 18)
A spokesman for the Jewish Defense League said today that some money and pledges had been received in a JDL effort to raise $105,000 in ball money for three JDL members who were arrested Friday in the Jan. 26 fire bombings of two Manhattan booking agencies which handle Soviet artists. The spokesman said no estimate could be made of the total but that an effort would be made at a hearing tomorrow in Federal court in Manhattan for reduction of bail.
Four JDL members were seized in the arrests. Three were linked to both the bombing of the offices of Hurok Concerts, Inc. in which Iris Kones, 27, a secretary, died of smoke inhalation; and of the Columbia Artists Management, in which there were no injuries. The three held in lieu of $35,000 bail each on Federal charges of setting off an explosive device in offices “used in activities affecting interstate and foreign commerce” are Stuart Carl Cohen, 19, Flushing, N.Y.; Sheldon Siegel, 25. East Hills, L.I.; and Sheldon Davis, 19, Jamaica. N.Y. Officials said that because of the death of Miss Kones, the charges could involve a death penalty on conviction.
The fourth JDL member, Jeffrey Smilow, 17, of Brooklyn, was allegedly linked only to the Columbia Artists bombing. He was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on second degree arson charges and released on $3,500 bail for hearing Wednesday.
At a news conference Friday, Rabbi Meir Kahane, JDL founder, repeated his description, at the time of the bombings, as “an act of insanity and insisted the four JDL members were “absolutely innocent.” He urged Jewish organizations to raise bail money for the three federal defendants. The JDL spokesman said today there had not been much time, because of the weekend timing of the arrests, to reach many contributors but that Rabbi Kahane was making as many contacts as he could.