Priest, 67, Freed from Jail

Sentenced for Protesting Against Nuclear Arms

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DENVER, Colorado, JULY 16, 2001 ( A judge freed a 67-year-old Catholic priest last week, saying that the 83 days he spent in jail was enough punishment for climbing the fence at a missile silo.

Father Carl Kabat was convicted in April of trespassing at a Minuteman III missile site, about 80 miles northeast of Denver, as part of a peace protest.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Allison pressed for the maximum one-year sentence on Thursday, citing the priest´s 10 previous arrests on similar charges. Father Kabat has spent more than a decade in prison for peace protests. «It is time to say enough is enough,» Allison said.

U.S. District Judge Boyd Boland said Father Kabat was not a threat to society. Last Aug. 6, Father Kabat placed bread, wine and a hammer on top of the silo, near New Raymer, and prayed.

The priest still faces extradition to Illinois, where he is accused of violating the terms of his probation by traveling to Colorado to protest. He was on probation for a 1984 incident, when he and three others damaged a missile silo outside Kansas City, Missouri.

«Insane weapons of mass destruction are a crime against humanity,» Father Kabat said at the hearing. «They hold us and the whole world hostage.»

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