APPROVEO FOR RELEASE DATE.I
Di itrI but Ion
The Papol Assassination Conspiracy Trlalt Inconclusive Reeults
Attachedypescript preparedember of my staff In reeponse to your request for an assessment of the Papalconspiracy trial. In our view the trial results were inoonelualva. While the proceedings yielded little evidence to support aasertlons of Bulgarian involvement In the Papal shooting, they also failed to exculpate the Bulgarian and Turkish defendants charged with conspiracy. If you or members of your staff have questions or corrrnents concerning the report, eell
ftPPRQVtOfDR RElfASE DATE.1
DIRECTORATE OP INTELLIGENCE
The Papal AsIn Conspiracy Trlali Jnconclujlvt Reaulta
of throe o
Ion eeaaplraoy trial ended la
March lftSt withthe acquittal for lasarflel.Qt evtdene. _
M,Itallaa law this
bat eoneedoi that evidence
"naOeqoate to support aeonalatlnff of two professional aad ala layleattaesd MWrsMt Allifethe Papal shoot lagto one additional year of prisoneon*lot Ion.
eerdlet is the middle ground between eeavletlor. and eoosslete ab.ol.tloa. Its the possible catlt of the defendant
IB -tnonth-loaa; Papal asaault trialduring which the court quoiiloned wllaeaaea and defendant* In sccae half-doson Nuntrlu, laeledleiaa the, culminationarly
also failed tothe Buinaand tbeand ao haa left llnajerlns; doubts about theirInnoeenea.
HfPRrnDfORRHUISl Mil SEP fill
The ^innlmtiBti fooiplr.ev Hesults
that had been touted aa the "trial of thaTS"did an.sw.rs. In ao doing It V
affirmed the view of many that the truth surrounding the attack against the Pope may never be known.
o It provided circumstantial evidanea highly suggestive of sons* kind of consplraey, but failed to prove one.
o It raised quest ions ss te whether Ageshrewd calculating seter. or merely eresy.
o It failed te elarlfyeumstaneaa surrounding the February lift murder of Turkish newspaper editor AbdI Ipekoi. to >hkh Age* confessed; Agoe ' escape from Turkish prison some months lateri his written threat against the Pontlfr if he vlaltad Turkey In late November aa scheduled] snd the relationship of these events, If any, to his eventual attaek on the Pope.
o It fsllsd to uncover the nature of the re letlonshlpe
between and amone Area, tha Turkish rlghtwlnsr extremist organisation called the flrsy WDlvei, the emugalin* suthc""If*nom " ,hend the Bulgarian
o It felled to determine Agca's real reasons for trying to kill the Pope, aa well as his metlvas for undermining the trial. It erne, aTter all, Agca's laek of credibility that delivered the fatal blow to the trial
The Problem of Uncooperative Witnesses and fugltIves. From *ne outset th* Rom* court wasy uncooperative participants. The testimonies of Important*nd key defendantsueh as Turkish gunman Agca and Bulgarian airlines official Sergey Antonov ere replete withontradictions, retraetlona, ne le* . Aa*ee repeatedly undermined his own credibility while Antonov, for his part, exercised hie legal right to ahaent himself from more then half of the trial, altlng reasons of III health.
The court-* Inability to queatlon allegad coconspirators Oral Celik and BekIr Calenkajor blow to the proceedings. Celik, identified bv Agcaumber of occasions as the second gunmen at St. Petar's Squara on th* day of the Papal shooting, has bean wanted by th* authorities for some
approved-or reiiase mtlsfpmm
celenk, the reputed turkish inurrltr whom tee* and thenT"
october 1sbs, tome three month, followingsrlure fram bulgari. whereeen under houe. arr.at .inc. list
t::turkey, celeak ,old
ml itery trlbuaal invest lg.g the murderet e cel.nk een in sofl. during th. sunvner of U, el.irned . met him there, thatcqualntltc.oneon.ptretor muse csl.bl. but th.t herovide support te age* in hi* attack aff.lnst th. pop*.
rora witness** .nd defendant* whl.
light of eland..tin* reporting, lent credence loretrialhe would-b. assassin's meat erlt assertion, however that ha had been in direct cnm.n
c1*'w'- the court obt.lned
testimonyumber of witnesses *nd defendants in
of age*'a ideal
n in direct contact with bulgarian official, for the eapresa purpose of eonaplrlng againat the popeas remained unprovea.
o in early oeeember 1MB, italian customs officials
testified that they hadonsiderable sum of money in exchange tor not sealing the plulgarlan tin truek ages claims -ae to have spirited him and his accomplice out of italy fetlowlng th. shootthis testimony adds credibility to agca's pretrial ststements that sofia had agreed to help agea leave italv following the assess iaatton attaaspt.
o omer bagel1s testimony confirmed rnanv of age's his acquisition of the weapon the shooting. Hegel affirmed that he haddalen, swltserland. to mllaa, italy, toagea four days before the shooting thehe used egainat the
unresolved issues. the trial was unsuccessful, however. in eirorts toumber of fundamental questionsonspiracy in the pspel shooting. it i* highly questionable, moreover, whether theae will ever be answered satisfactorily.
agce's connections umber of turkish rightists.
the trial reat deal of information regarding turkish rightwing eirele.oelated with ages. these reveletioni brought magistrate ilarlo startelle'e pretrial investigetion under heavy eritletsm for inadequately exploring the so-called "turkishnd lad to the formation of ateam of magistrate* charged with pureeing tha turkish rol* in the papal n oonnplrsey. v*stif*tion is still underway.
APPROVED FOR P. DATtStPlOII
o Th* number end identitieshose persona who were with Afra in St. Peter's Square oSt the day th* Pop* was ihot. Presiding ^Magistrate SeverIno Xaetlaplehl hasthat the pretrial at lea did not firmly establish each basis feete of th* erlme.
o The wh*re*bouts of th* Bulgarian defendants on th* day of tha shooting. Prosecutor Antonio Marlnlth*Antonov of having lied when he told Italian Invest Igators that he was not pruanl whan th* Pope was th* Proseeutor alio charged Bulgaria withocumentsto substantial* Antonov'* varslen of
o The personal details Ages provided about Bulgarian
defendants who claimever Mt Ages. The aourt has not resolved how Acea waa abl* to provide such Information. Oaring th*f an Invaatn Into ehargea that Agea had beenv Italian seeurltv services Into Imolieatlns; th* Hulgarlans, Magistrate Praneo lonta found Inaarflelant evidence that former official* of the Italian Mllltarv Intalllsenee Service had given Agea auch Inforaaatlon.
o The dlapoaltlon of the funds allegedly aaid to the
Turkish gunetan and his accomplices. Mo traee of the money was ever found by th* aourt or pretrial InvestIgators.
o The numerous mcotlngs Agea said hod taken place between him and th* Bulgarian defendants. Mo independent corroboration of such eontaots surfaeed In th* courtroom.
la^^hJoTw Italian i
The Watfr of Appeals. f the acquittal* for Inaufflclent evidence readerad In th* Papal assault trial were subsequently appealed either by th* trial proseeutor or th* Bulgarian dcfenlent*. Proaeeutor Marlnl announeed hla decision to appeal the Intermedial* vardlete handed down to the three Turkish defendants soon after the trial's conclusion. H* hadpacifically requested lif* onmen t Tor two of th* ear aentcne* for the third In his reeonmenrtan to th* Roan* eourt prior to Its In eanstraborat lona i In the ease of theulgarian defendant* the Proseeutor had reeonrnanded acquittal for insufficient evidence. For their oart, alt three Bulgarian defendants appealed the vardlete. None of the appeal* hav* been placed on the court's doekal
Tho Justification of Sentence. An Italian eourt document made public in0 oontonds that the three Bulgarian defendant* provided suspieioua alibis whioh failed to refute evidence that Agea had hadwith them before tha Papal
seen ft hnrrnw
aocordlng to prese required
under Italian law,eat non of sentence" that explains hew the court assesses evidancerial anderdlet.
This particular doeument, signed by Prealdlng Msglatrsto Santlapiehl, eonelsded that while no firm evidence emargad to link tha alleged coconeplraters to an assess InatIon plot, thare ware solid indleatlena that Agea had not aeted alone. The document malnlalns that Agea willfully destroyed his own credibilityitness, sosssed Intent on proteetlng his aeoorapl lees, and might have had reaaen tu believe that he would be helped to escape from prison If ha was successful la aabotaglng the proseoutIonase. It advocated sitreme caution In evaluating the trial evidence because of Agca's courtroom behsvior and hla penchant for retraetlng teatlmony. The document eoneluded by attributing sowas credibility to the hypothesis that Turkish allegedere "correaloned" by "another group |BBHbat wished to "disguise the oolltloal" motivation of theOriginal document.