NEW YORK (Aug. 28)
Top officers of the National District Attorneys Association, the largest national organization of prosecuting officials in the world, called today on the United Nations’ congress on crime, scheduled to open Sept. 1 in Geneva to rescind its invitation to the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate in the meeting.
At a news conference here, the officials also urged the UN congress to develop a definition of “terrorism” that would not permit any political justification for “the commission of crimes recognized, under international laws, such as murder, kidnapping, assault, robbery, hijacking, extortion, or any other criminal activity.”
They warned that the PLO has boasted that it has the support of the United Nations in its terrorist activities, and declared that, unless the forthcoming congress outlaws such actions, the “blame and responsibility” for future occurrences “will fall solely on the United Nations.”
SIGNED BY D.A.S FROM ACROSS U.S.
Robert F. Leonard, vice-president of the NDAA, and Preston Trimble, chairman of the board, made their statements in a letter to Gerhard O.W. Mueller, executive secretary of the Fifth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders. The letter was also signed by more than 45 other District Attorneys from across the country, all of whom are executive officers of the 7000-member NDAA.
Leonard, who is Prosecuting Attorney in Geneses County, Flint, Michigan, and Trimble, District Attorney of Cleveland County, Norman, Oklahoma, discussed their action at the news conference in the Carnegie Endowment Building after having hand-delivered the letter to Mueller’s office at the UN.
Leonard and Trimble stressed the fact that their opposition to PLO participation in the UN congress was not based on the political pursuits of the Palestinians, but on the effect that such participation might have on the definition of “terrorism” that the congress is expected to develop, which law enforcement officers in the United States and other countries will then be obliged to apply in the course of their duties.
The District Attorneys, in their letter, said, “We cannot comprehend why the United Nations would invite to an international Congress, which it is sponsoring, an organization which, with others of its ilk, has attacked and committed crimes against the very member nations of the United Nations itself.”