Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
June 24, 2010
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Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
October 13, 1984
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00552R000100580003-6.pdf55.13 KB
Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/06/24: CIA-RDP90-0055 :`:RTTCLE APPEARED ON PACE -3 STAT NEW YORK TIMES 13 October 198+ Emigre Ties Russian to Pope Case PARIS, Oct. 12 (Reuters) - An' as- sociate of a Soviet journalist who re- turned to Moscow last month asserts that the man, Oleg G. Bitov, was forci- bly taken back by K.G.B. men because bf fears that he would give evidence to ,talian officials investigating the at- tempted assassination of Pope John Paul 11. - The friend, Anatoly Gladilin, a Rus- sian emigre writer, wrote in an analy- sis of the case in Le Monde that Mr. Bitov had agreed to give written testi- mony in the case against a Bulgarian suspect, Sergei Ivanov Antonov, shortly before Mr. Bitov vanished from Britain in August. Mr. Bitov, a senior journalist for the weekly Literaturnaya Gazeta, was thought to have defected at the Venice Film Festival in September 1983 and to have been given asylum in Britain. He reappeared in Moscow last month and asserted at a news conference teat he had not defected but had been kid- napped and tortured by British agents. Mr. Gladilin wrote: "I spent many hours alone with Bitov; I was the last to see him in London. I spent the evening of Aug. 15 with him. We spoke by tele- phone on the 16th and agreed to meet on the 17th. But on the 17th, Bitov had dis- appeared. "Believe me, Bitov did not at all look like someone who was planning to re- turn to the Soviet Union. I am sure he was kidnapped in London and held his press conference in Moscow under the dictation of the K.G.B." Mr. Gladilin said Mr. Bitov had trav- eledto Italy to co lest material for_- cles implicatlltg_le cen~rat rn~alli_ gence Agen~c' in the shooting of the Pope y MehmetATi Agca, a Turk, on MayT3, _198!. Mr. Gladilin wrote that after Mr. Bitov's defection to Britain the K.G.B. became increasingly worried that he would appear as a witness at the trial of Mr. Antonov, a Bulgarian airline offi- cial implicated by Mr. Agca in the plot. `Invited to Testify' He added: "I know that the K.G.B.'s fears were well founded. Bitov was in- vited to testify. It was not the British who asked him, and I do not know ex- actly who did." - "Bitov refused to go to Italy and give evidence, knowing that the K.G.B. would not forgive him. But he agreed to give a written deposition which could be read at a closed court session." Mr. Gladilin said that Mr. Bitov was sent a dossier on the Antonov case but that his fate was sealed by the fact that the K.G.B. found out. STAT Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/06/24: CIA-RDP90-00552R000100580003-6