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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
September 15, 2010
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Publication Date: 
July 18, 1983
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00552R000505120013-6.pdf79.56 KB
Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/09/15 :CIA-RDP90-005528000505120013-6 ARTICLE APPEARED TIME 0?~T PAGE 18 3ti1y 1983 World "The KGB organized Everything" A raucous confession from Pope John Paul AI's assailant or months, newspapers were awash with a spectacular charge: the attempt on Pope John Paul II's life in 1981, de- clared Italian authorities last winter, had the backing of the Bulgarian secret ser- vice, presumably acting on orders from the Soviet Union. But the accusation de- pended on the secret confession of the gunman convicted of the shooting, Turk- ish Terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca, and as the unhurried investigation into ~ his claims continued without producing fur- ther important revelations, interest in the case slowly dwindled. Now the intrigue has leaped suddenly back to life. As he was taken from a Rome police station last week, Agca surprised waiting reporters by publicly implicating the Soviets in the conspiracy. Said he: "The KGB organized everything." In a chaotic encounter outside the po- lice station, the slim, unshaven Turk for the -first time confirmed previously pub- lished accounts of his confession to Ital- ian investigators. Speaking in broken English and Sawed Italian, he claimed that he was trained as a terrorist "in Bul- garia and in Syria." Italian officials be- lieve that Agca. was aided in the assassi- nation attempt by three Bulgarians: two former employees at the Rome embassy and Sergei Ivanov Antonov, onetime Rome manager of the Bulgarian airline, who is now being held in a Rome jail pending the outcome of the investigation. Was,Antonov involved? newsmen asked, as Agca climbed into a police van. "I knew Sergei," he replied. "He was my accomplice." And the KGB? "Yes, the KGB." Agca's allegations provided no new details of the plot. But by repeating in public the. charges made in his secret con- fession, which until now have been re- ported only secondhand, Agca buttressed .the Italian investigators' claim of East bloc involvement. Agca, however, has changed his story repeatedly in the past, and critics of the government investiga- tion fear that the case depends almost en- tirely onhis possibly unreliable testimony. To no one's surprise, Bulgarian and Soviet officials have vehemently denied any part in the conspiracy. Agca's unexpected comments came as he was being questioned by police in connection with a peculiar kidnaping case. Emanuela Orlandi, 15, the daughter of a messenger in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, vanished on June 22 after talking with a man in a black BMW on the street in front of her music school in downtown Rome. Last Wednesday, following an ap- peal from the Pope for her safe return, the abductors finally unveiled their startling demand. In a call to Orlandi's family, the kidnapers announced that the girl would be freed only if Agca were released. The Vatican, they added, should intercede with the Italian government to obtain his freedom. Through its official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican promptly rejected a role as intermediary; saying that the kidnapers were demand- ing "absurd compensations." Even Agca wanted no par[ of the deal: he is well aware that only his Italian jailers stand between him and possible Soviet retribu- tion for his confessions. Said the onetime terrorist: "I appeal to the kidnapers: free this poor girl. I have nothing to do with criminals. I am with Italy, with the Italian people, with the Vatican." ^ Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/09/15 :CIA-RDP90-005528000505120013-6