(CN) - The CIA must face claims over withheld records related to the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and his brother, Sen. Robert Kennedy, a federal judge ruled.
Anthony Bothwell sued the CIA in November 2013 for denying his records request under the Freedom of Information Act relating to five people who may have been involved in the Kennedy assassinations in 1963 and 1968.
U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Corley on Thursday removed CIA Director John Brennan as a defendant because a FOIA request applies only to agencies and not individuals.
Though Bothwell had failed to name the CIA as a defendant, the San Francisco judge said it must answer the complaint.
"Because the CIA is sufficiently identified in the body of the complaint, plaintiff's failure to name the CIA in the caption does not mandate dismissal of the complaint against the CIA," the nine-page opinion states.
Bothwell's failure to list the CIA in the lawsuit's caption "is merely a technical error" and he properly served "both the United States and the CIA," according to the ruling.
In his complaint, Bothwell described himself as a San Francisco attorney who graduated from the John F. Kennedy School of Law and later taught courses there.
His initial FOIA request sought all records related to three people allegedly connected to JFK's assassination: Johnny Roselli, Jean Souetre and David Morales,
As to RFK's assassination, Bothwell sought records Thane Eugene Cesar and Enrique Hernandez.
The CIA told Bothwell that it no responsive records were generated for the three people possibly connected to the JFK assassination and if such records did exist, they would be FOIA-exempt as "intelligence sources and methods information."
It flat-out denied the records request pertaining to the two individuals allegedly associated with RFK's assassination, saying that the records are "operational files" and are exempt from the FOIA.