TEIBEH, Israeli-Occupied Jordan -- The grey-haired father of the man charged with shooting Robert F. Kennedy quietly shrugged his shoulders. It was a gesture of futility, of resignation.
"I am a religious man, I have been all my life," said Bishara Sirhan, 52. "My son Sirhan used to go to the Greek Orthodox church will me as a child in Jerusalem every Sunday. We studied the Bible together."
He looked up. His grey-green eyes blazed. "How do you expect me to know why he shot Robert Kennedy?"
A moment's silence in the summer sun of an ancient Christian village 30 miles north of Jerusalem.
"I am shocked beyond words. I had the news last night from the village mukhtar (elder) Faiz Ba'Ajis Muaddi. If my son did it, he deserves his fate."
"This is the blackest day of my life," Sirhan said.
He spoke in clear, nearly unaccented English, polished during several lengthy visits to the United States. He learned it, he said, working for the British army during World War II.
Today he lives off a "very small" retirement pension, supplemented by what he makes as a part-time agricultural worker.
"My son was a talented boy," he continued, staring at the horizon as though talking to himself. "I pray to the Almighty that this nightmare may pass."
Bishara lives alone in a modest stone house in this Israeli-occupied village. He last saw his son, he said, three years ago, during his last visit to the United States.
He seemed reluctant to talk further of his wife and five children -- all in America.
"I have always had such deep admiration for the Kennedy family," he said. "My son was so talented, more than his four brothers. How he came to this is beyond me.
"The possibility is not excluded that I may go to the United States," Sirhan said, slipping an old tweed jacket over his white nylon shirt and bright blue tie.
"I am stupefied. I don't know any more what to say. I have been besieged with reporters and television and radio men and I am very tired. So if you'll please excuse me ..."
The father of Sirhan Bishara Sirhan turned and walked slowly, heavily, back into his stone house.