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Date sent: 18 Apr 96 16:59:01 EDT From: Williams Institute <100705.1252@CompuServe.COM>

Biographer trying to learn why FBI shadowed Lennon

LOS ANGELES (AP) - After fighting since 1981 to make the FBI tell why its agents shadowed John Lennon, a biographer of the late Beatle hopes the answers will finally come together this year.

"I would love to do something else for the next 10 years," said Jon Wiener, a history professor at the University of California at Irvine, who documented Lennon's attempts to change politics through rock music and the government's attempts to stop him.

"We are almost at the end," said Dan Marmalefsky, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. Court battles have freed about 85 percent of the FBI's Lennon file, he said.

Wiener first asked for the Lennon FBI files a few months after the composer was shot to death in 1980 by a deranged fan in New York. The professor and the ACLU sued in 1983.

The case has been thrown out and reinstated on appeal. The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Wiener in 1992, rejecting an FBI appeal to kill the suit. In December, U.S. District Judge Robert Takasugi ordered the FBI to answer questions about why it kept a file on Lennon. Responses were due in February.

The ruling probably won't free the remaining files, said Wiener.

"But the implications are clear that the courts are...telling the FBI it can't do what it's been doing in this case. And the logical thing...for the Clinton Justice Department to do is give us the materials," he said.

Even Yet Another