8. PAPAL ATTEMPT, STATE´s SECRET
The attempt against John Paul I in Saint Peter´s Square, on May the 13th 1981, is a diabolical enigma. Several explanations have been given: the Bulgarian track, which takes to the East countries, to Bulgaria and to the former soviet KGB; the Atlantic track, diametrically opposed, which takes to the extreme right terrorist group Grey Wolves, a group linked to the western secret services and the CIA (1), but also with the mafia and the weapons and drugs trade; the Italian track, compatible with the preceding one, which considers the attempt “an Italian internal matter”: members of the Italian secret services linked to the loggia P2 intentionally deviated the investigation blaming the Bulgarian and the Russian. But a question is raised: why certain members of the Italian secret services linked to the P2 could be interested in deviating the investigation?.
In the arrest warrant, signed by the general attorney Achille Gallucci, the aggressor Ali Agca is accused of having attempted against pope´s life “in collaboration with other persons whose identity remains unknown” (2).
At the first moment, Luciano Infelisi, magistrate in charge of the case, declared: “For us there are documental proofs that Mehmet Ali Agca didn´t act alone” (3). Nevertheless, Italian government sources manifested the opposite: “The police is convinced that Agca acted on his own” (4)
The magistrate Infelisi´s indictment was revised, the reference to other persons suppressed and, a few days later, Infelisi was put aside of the case.
“We have neither proof, nor indications, tracks, nor even the smallest evidence of the existence of an international conspiracy”, said Alfredo Lazzarini, head of the DIGOS (5), the Italian antiterrorist police.
On his part, a high position civil servant of the CIA in Washington declared that it was an “Italian internal matter” and that “it wouldn´t be proper” to intervene in it. (6).
The same day of the attempt, at 2015 hrs., the ARD german channel news program uncovered the aggressor’s political affiliation, an important track to take into account: “Mehmet Ali Agca has been a member of the extreme right Turkish Grey Wolves” (7).
With outside help, from obscure sources, Agca had fled from the Turkish jail of Kartal Maltepe on September the 23rd 1979, where he was confined accused of the assassination of Abdi Ipekci, moderate left wing daily Milliyet´s head-editor. Assassin Agca used his particular formula: to assume by himself the crime’s responsibility, to be later on liberated
It is to day known that the extreme right Grey Wolves, was fed by the USA and Western intelligence services. The German newspaperman and investigator Jürgen Roth says in his book State’s Mafias: “In 1991 it was uncovered in Europe the existence of a secret military command structure: Gladio. The Turkish counter guerrilla was an integral part of this OTAN´s secret organization. The Grey Wolves and the counter guerrilla were contemplated as the most important anticommunist forces in Turkey. In consequence, they enjoyed of a large international support. The fact that they were a menace for the democracy was of no interest at that moment of the cold war” (8).
The Grey Wolves, that literally howl, are a party dedicated to the weapons and drugs trade. For them, the wrong matter is the communism, not the drug. The drug is a financing mean: “When in Europe the payment of weapons was demanded, heroin was introduced in Europe… The Grey Wolves dealt with the heroin distribution, investing the incomes in armament purchase” (9). If this track, the one of weapons and drug trade, is not taken into account, nothing can be understood”.
The following day to flee from jail, Agca sent a letter to the daily Milliyet, threatening to kill the pope during his planned visit to Istanbul, which would take place three days later:
“The western imperialists, fearing that Turkey and its Islamic brother nations can become a political, military and economical power in the Near East, send to Turkey, in such a delicate moment, the head of the Crusades, John Paul, disguised of a religious leader. If this visit … is not cancelled, I, with no doubt, shall kill the pope-chief. This is the only purpose of my escape from jail. Besides, the responsibility of the attack to La Mecca, attributable to north Americans and Israelites, will not remain unpunished” (10).
It the letter of an exalted Islamic fundamentalist, but Agca drunk and he rarely was seen in a mosque. He had nothing of a fanatic Moslem. Nevertheless, it is the first notice of the aggressor. Whatever the reason, Agca´s enigmatic and sinister trip towards Saint Peter´s Square had begun.
The Vatican was warned before hand by the SDECE, exterior documentation and counter espionage French service: “In the month of April 1981, some SDECE services, still leaded by Alexandre de Marenches, were convinced that an attempt against the pope was being prepared. They have enough information at their disposal and it is serious enough as to infer an absolute conviction: an assassin is coming into action in Rome! About April the 20th, Alexandre de Marenches sends two of his closest collaborators to the Holly Father to warn him of the danger… Discretely received in the Vatican, they transmit to the Holly See the detailed information they have. This information is explosive, since places a foreign power directly in question” (11).
Therefore, there was a complot against the pope, but a question is raised: That foreign power really was Bulgaria? And also: Was a western set-up to place in difficulties the soviet block underway? And finally: Was a colossal weapons and drugs trade through half Europe behind all this?
Agca´s defence lawyer questioned the Italian court jurisdiction alleging that the shots had been delivered on Vatican grounds. The court rejected the allegation mentioning the Letran agreements between the Vatican and Italy, which had taken into account such event. On his side, Agca rejected the Italian court jurisdiction and he rejected to answer the questions in the law court: “I shall not answer. I do not acknowledge this court. The trial has ended. Thank you” (12).
The trial was rapid, it only lasted three days. Attorney Nicola Amato, on behalf of the Italian State, made a long exposition of Agca´s crime, “lacking in technical and juridical reasoning”. The attorney referred to “the scarce results of the investigations in order to establish contacts, support or complicities that undoubtedly had enjoyed the accused in the months before the attempt that had taken place in Saint Peter´s Square” (13).
Defender lawyer, Pietro D´Ovidio, known because he had defended the neo fascists Fredda and Venture (14), made all possible manoeuvres to avoid Agca life imprisonment. He presented him as a “lonely paranoid and schizophrenic”, a “religiously exalted man, who desired to become a hero in the Islamic religion killing a Christian pope” (15).
Some moments before the reading of the sentence, the Vatican daily L´Osservatore Romano published an article in its front page in which the following question was risen: “Was madness or some other additional matter what guided that homicide hand?” (16).
On July the 22nd, the First Petition Court in Rome, leaded by the judge Severino Santiapichi, dictated the sentence given to Agca: life imprisonment and one year of total isolation. Three official judges and ten popular judges chosen by a draw among the citizens composed the court. There were two housewives, two retired teachers and a rabbits´ breeder (17).
In the declaration of motives, judge Santiapichi acknowledged the following: “Grave questions referring to the possibility of a material complicity in the crime and a high level conspiracy are arisen”. Pope´s aggressor “showed to own an adequate knowledge of an intricate phenomenon, of specific facts and intimae mechanisms, which wouldn´t be able to know without being involved in some manner in a criminal enterprise”. Nevertheless, the nature of this enterprise wasn´t more than a conjecture yet (18).
The declaration was stored in the Chancellery on September the 24th 1981. It was at the disposal of anyone asking for it, but it never was fully published.
During the first fortnight of August, Agca was secretly taken from the Rome´s jail to the one of Ascoli Piceno, 191 kms to the east of the Italian capital (19).
The case was reopened on November the 6th. A judge, Ilario Martella, was named new magistrate instructor. He ought to investigate Agca´s international connections.
The Bulgarian track
The Italian newspaper Il Giornale Nuovo was the first to deliver the idea of a relationship between the attempt and the socialist countries secret services, alluding on May the 19th 1981 to a secret report from the SISMI, the Italian Military Security and Information Service.
According to that report, Marshal Ustinov would have personally elaborated the plan of the attempt, and would have sent it to the german democratic republic secret services, which would have helped Agca to get out of the Turkish jail. The plan would have been examined and adopted in the Warsaw Pact countries foreign ministers meeting, in November 1980. Nevertheless, the SISMI´s report, as it was later on verified, was false. (20).
At the beginning of September, French and British press reported that the west Germany secret services had reached the conviction, after consulting their Vatican and Italian colleagues, that the Bulgarians and the KGB were after the attempt (21).
The first book about the attempt is the work of a priest, Vendelin Slougorov, who in 1963 crossed from Czechoslovakia to Italy. It was published in Coblentz (Germany), in January 1982 with the title The 13th of May drama. The priest indicates that he knew that “Moscow gave the order to shoot against the pope” through a western agent.
Almost one year after the attempt, on May the 1st 1982, Agca announces that he will make statements. He had already received the visit of the Italian secret services representatives. The 2nd of May he says he had committed the attempt following a Bulgarian order, he gives the names of his accomplices and he describes places and dates. They are Turks, mostly in the Idealist party and in the terrorist organization the Gray Wolves. Among the cited names, there is only a Bulgarian, some Petrov, a member of the Bulgarian embassy in Vienna (23).
Four months later, the Bulgarian track version is delivered by the US newspaperwoman Clara Sterling (24) in the Reader’s Digest (August 82) and by Marvin Kalb in the US TV channel NBC (15 and 21 September). By first time it is already mentioned that a Bulgarian airlines functionary would be involved in the attempt.
At the beginning of October, the examining magistrate Martella travels to Washington. In the interrogation carried out there, Arnoud de Borchgrave, a newspaperman living in the north American capital, appears to declare, affirming he had some information received from Alexandre de Marenches, former SDECE, the French intelligence service, leader. The newspaperman affirmed that the had met De Marenches in Paris a little after May the 13th 1981 and he had confirmed him “to have sent to Rome, some three months before the attempt, two of his main collaborators in order to warn the Vatican against a possible attempt against the pope organized by the East country and to propose a Supreme Pontiff’s security measures reinforcement”. De Marenches would have told him with sorrow: “They didn´t take seriously”
The newspaperman added that he had fortuitously met in Paris Dr. Becuaud, one the two emissaries sent to the Vatican.
Well then, judge Martella declares that “interrogated De Marenches and Dr. Becuaud, they have refused to answer to questions that, according to them, affect a State’s secret”. Besides, Dr. Becaud declares not to know personally to Arnaud de Borchgrave since he had never met him. (25)
On October 25th Agca delivers the names of his “Bulgarian accomplices” and on November the 25th Antonov is detained, reaching its culminating point the western media antibulgarian propaganda. (26).
On December the 20th, Defence Italian minister, Lelio Lagorio, denounces in the parliament the assumed Bulgarian participation as “an international violence act equivalent to a peace time military action”. (27).
Later on, on July the 8th 1983, Agca wants to declare again. He gives judge Martella details about the appearance and the habits of his “Bulgarian accomplices”. Most of these details referred to Antonov, but it is necessary to say that Antonov himself had given them in and interview carried out in the magazine Corriere della Domenica (28)
Clara Sterling published on 1983 his book titled The assassins´ time (29). Godfather Abuzer Ugurlu´s Turkish mafia, working from Sophie under tight Bulgarian’s control, would have elected the appropriate executor and would have provided the adequate cover. According to the Italian police, a TIR truck went out of the Bulgarian embassy one hour after the attempt towards the Yugoslavian frontier. The aggressor already had an extreme right terrorist assassin image. Everything ought to present an extreme right international conspiracy aspect. The Grey Wolves would work for the Turkish mafia and the Turkish mafia would be controlled by the Bulgarian secret service, behind which would be the soviet KGB. (30).
On October 31st 1984, the examining magistrate Martella publishes a document in which six persons were involved like accomplices in the attempt against the pope: three Bulgarians (Serguei Antonov, Jelio Vassilev and Todor Aivazov) and three Turks (Oral Celik, Musa Celebi and Bekir Celek) (31).
Omer Bagci, another Turk involved in the attempt’s preparation, is accused for weapons and ammunition illegal import. But, the public prosecutor did not present any kind of accusation against the Turkish mafia leader, Abuzer Ugurlu.
French attorney Christian Roulette publishes in September 1984 his book La filière (32). He had contacted jurists and newspapermen from several countries; he denounces the Bulgarian track as “the biggest set up of the post war”. One year later, he publishes other book in the same line titled Le process.
Other Agca´s accomplices who fled from Europe after the attempt have not been neither investigated nor worried: “Ermal Menal, Mehmet Enam, Eyup Erdem, Ramazan Sengul, Abdullah Catli, Mehmet Sener, all of them have been seen beside Agca in the days before May 13th 1981. These men are of no interest for the magistrate Martella” (33).
Likewise, no accusation was made against Omer Mersan, showed during the whole process like the Turkish mafia godfather, Abuzer Urgulu, active agent
The german newspaperman and investigator Jürgen Roth confirms the same fact: “Grey Wolves like Abdullah Catli could act with impunity across all Europe”. He points out like explanation “the general convincement that during the cold war the Turkish living in Germany ought to protect from the red terror, the communists” (34)
Well then, in the world of the law, the Bulgarian jurists give the first attention call during the congress that in October 1984 gathers in Athens 400 members of the Democrat Jurists International Association. Some weeks later, the Bulgarian Jurists Union publishes an extensive document saying that the fact that the only source of accusation be Agca´s declaration “is neither acceptable nor admissible”. It is assumed that Agca “Only could obtain information about the accused Bulgarians by personal contacts before the attempt, and not by any other means, and this in spite of the numerous facts proving that the criminal could break his isolation in the Italian jails” (35).
Italian internal business
In the second half of 1983 there was no newspaper which were not busy trying to ascertain how Agca´s isolation in Ascoli Piceno´s jail was broke, so allowing his active and passive manipulation. Let´s see some examples:
· Daily Le Monde: “Leaving aside the functionaries, public authorities and ecclesiastic, criminals of any type imprisoned in the same jail had access to Agca´s isolation cell… Nevertheless, his most significant visitant was Rafaele Cutolo Camorra’s godfather, who was under an eight years sentence. Don Rafaele continued leading his criminal organization from his all comfort cell” (36)
- Weekly Panorama: “In spite of the isolation rule, Agca has been able to learn Italian thanks to Giovanni Senzani´s good offices, a member of the Red Brigades. Ha has also been visited by Ascoli´s bishop, mons. Marcello Morgante. After him, Agca received the visits of two secret services agents, Luigi Bonagura and the carabineer commandant Petrucelli. And, almost everyday, Muslim Agca was assisted by the prison chaplain, don Santini, later on detained as Cutolo´s accomplice” (37).
- Daily La Republica: “It becomes progressively clearer that Francesco Pazienza (Italian secret services agent) has been in a tight relationship not only with the SISMI but also with Cutolo, and that he has visited many times Ascoli Piceno prison. In Rome´s juridical media, it is also spoken about the supposed Bulgarian secret agents famous photographs presented to Agca. It is precisely their identification by Agca what has convinced the examining magistrate Martella that he was in the right track. The assassin has signalled his accomplices. It seems now that the photos dossier about the Bulgarian espionage has been elaborated by the SISMI with Pazienza´s collaboration. The scheming (Pazienza) was in the possession of another photographs and information, above all what affects the two Bulgarians Aivazov and Antonov” (38).
- Weekly L´Expresso: “Antonov, Aivazov and Vassilev physical description given by the assassin, takes the thinking more to a personal dossier from the police commissaries archives than to the observations of an aggressor who, supposedly, has met his accomplices four or five times to prepare the criminal plan. Curious details about teeth of one of them, a detailed description of Vassilev´s left cheek, a mole unnoticed even by his closest friends; a detailed description of tics and habits”, And also: “When this man, gifted with an exceptional power of observation, was presented with the simple question of which of the two, Aivazov or Vassilev, was taller, he was mistaken saying that Vassilev, where Aivazov is at least ten centimetres taller than his colleague; it is not less than surprising that so evident detail could escape Agca observation. It is evident, that this height difference can´t be noticed in photographs separately presented.”(39)
Pazienza´s name appears many times in the course of complicated intrigues around the attempt against John Paul II. Mauricio Visigali, Pazienza´s secretary and driver, has told to the judges that Pazienza was in possession of a voluminous dossier about, for example, a via Veneto´s hotel waitress, who would have frequently called on the Turkish assassin in Rome. And the businessman Alvaro Giardili, Pazienza´s right hand, has declared that he had been present in numerous phone conversations between Pazienza and monsignor Marcinkus in the course of which the prelate insisted to Pazienza to track closely Agca´s matter.
Pazienza has been personal friend and special commands agent in charge for SISMI´s ex director, General Giuseppe Santovito, an influential member of the logia P2: “This law and order guardian was delivered to the justice by the examining magistrate Carlo Palermo, from Trent, as one of the chiefs of the most important weapons and drugs net, discovered so far in Italy. The general was detained, but he suddenly died before being interrogated” (40).
An important document, made public by Jean-Marie Stoerkel (France) and Frank Gardely (Switzerland), proves that Italian justice chose from the beginning to ignore Agca´s Turkish accomplices, all of them from the extreme right. The document comes from general Santovito, SISMI director, and it is addressed to Domenico Sica, Republic Prosecutor substitute. Well then, with date 25th May 1981, Santovito reports, among other things, that Agca “would join in Germany Turkish citizens looked for by Ankara police on the charge of subversive activities” (41)
A true dossier would have been interested in these accomplices. But there are another data to take into account:
- It is known, mainly thanks to Stoerkel, that Bulgarian trucks never transported Abdullah Catli, Oral Celik and Mehmet Sener, fugitive from Rome after the attempt. They wandered through Switzerland, Germany and France (42).
- Bulky mistakes did not deserve the magistrate´s attention, such us the description (made by Agca) of a sliding door that does not exist in Antonov´s home, but it can be found in the rest of the building’s floors: “This mistake could arise some doubt, when it is known that the Antonov´s stairs neighbour is the famous father Morlion, entailed to the CIA and the catholic fundamentalist institutions, which is the owner of an identical floor with a sliding door” (43)
- When we consider the enormous amount of Turkish that in the 70´s crossed Bulgaria, towards Europe and Turkey, it can be understood that the Bulgarian customs services were not able to control all this traffic. We now know with certainty that the traffic between Turkey and Italy, through Bulgaria, was leaded, at least partially, by the SISMI. (44).
- On purpose of an Antonov´s supposed photograph that appeared on Paris-Match and other media, the American magazine Covert Action nº 19 affirms that “Antonov´s photograph has been placed by a set-up upon the crew in Saint Peter´s Square” (45).
- It can´t be accepted that the magistrate could invent the trip – in a flash and exceptional – of a diplomatic truck known for arriving every year after having visited eight European embassies and that was loaded in the street after waiting four days in the presence of Aivazov and of an Italian customs officer (46).
- According to a SISMI´s report, 25th May 1981, Agca use the pistol Browning without filing off its factory number, which allowed to easily follow its track to the Fabrique Nationale Herstal, from Belgium, where it had been manufactured. From there it legally went to a gunsmith in Liege, who sold it to another one in Zurich, who in turn, legally too, sold it to some Otto Tintner, who used a a gun licence from the austrian´s enterprise Fabrique Nationale Herstal, from Belgium. Although legally acquired in Switzerland, the Browning and another twentyone pistols were smuggled into Austria, where they disappeared. Grillmayer, 42 years old, came from “a fervent nazi family” and had been investigated several times by the Austrian police on the charge of illegal possession of weapons (47)
- Newspaperman Brochgrave, who gives a “spontaneous testimony”, and the diplomat De Marenches, who keeps silence, have a common friend: Francesco Pazienza, a French services agent from 1976, an American Masonic loggias man of confidence, from the Italian secret services, the man who could coordinate the tasks assigned to those around Agca´s cell: Cutolo from the Camorra, Senzani from Red Brigades, father Morlion from the CIA, tha camorrist chaplain Santini and fundamentalists and neonazis institutions. Pazienza was Reagan´s man in Italy (49).
Rome´s examining magistrate Rosario Priore began in 1985 to instruct the attempt against the pope. Agca´s affirmations were not reliable. Neither were those of the Turkish Oral Celik, except for what refers to the Turkish Cihat Turkoglu, who was a member of the Gray Wolves.
During the interrogatories, Celik told that, few weeks after the attempt, Turkogly had been carried to Rome by the Italian secret services, to which he had delivered information about the pistol used by Agka in return for “one thousand million lirae” and new identification documents.
Magistrate Priore found in the SISMI´s (Military Security and Information Service) archives, a letter dated 1-8-1981, in which the military attaché to the Italian embassy in Vienna, reported to the Italian military secret services that “a Turkish, Turkoglu Cihat, resident in Vienna, says he is in the possession of news related with the attempt against the Pope. He accepts to talk…, as long as protection guaranties for him and his family are given”. Out of the mail came out that on the 3rd of June the SISMI had confirmed the full availability to talk with Turkoglu, but on June the 5th the military attaché communicated that the Turkish could not be found
Magistrate Priore verified that Turkoglu was a very important source: on June the 1st he had already told to the Austrian police precise data about Agca and the pistol used in the attempt. Nevertheless, the magistrate only found in the SISMI a “don´t remember”. According to magistrate Priore, the Italian military secret service, a few weeks after the attempt, “paid and hid an important witness” (50).
According to magistrate Carlo Palermo, enough attention was not paid to the Belgian dominico Félix Morlion, who has developed an intense activity rather polical than religious. From the extreme right and a visceral anticommunist, collaborated with fascists and nazis. Nevertheless, at the end of the second world war, he joined the American central information (OSS), that later on would become the CIA. In 1944 the OSS sent Morlion to Rome, where he founded, with american money, the international catholic press Agency (CIP) and the international university Pro Deo: “These two organizations – the first for information and propaganda, the second for anticommunist catholic staffs formation – constituted in the postwar period the two main basis of his political activity”.
Morlion had organized a reporting net that would have given him the necessary elements to elaborate confidential reports regularly sent for years to the CIA and to the White House: “Father Morlion´s activity was also intense in the Latin America countries, particularly in Venezuela and Brazil, where he handed information to the Standard Oil about the communists organizations in the hot zones, that were of interest for the large oil company. In Italy, Father Morlion elaborated and kept updated, on charge of the CIA, a large file involving all the priests and religious suspected of feeding sympathies towards the left wing social and political organizations… It was only after the Vatican State Secretary reform, decided by Paul VI in 1968, when Father Morlion´s reporting net was partially dismantled” (51)
Reagan´s triumph meant the rise of conservative institutions like the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution or the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). In the Heritage Foundation tenth anniversary celebration on 1983, Reagan said: “A conservative and worldwide intellectual revolution is about to write the last pages of an aberrant chapter in the history of the humanity, titled communism”. (52)
From 1977, Clara Sterling showed herself very active in Italy, in collaboration with the CIA´s agent Michael Ledeen, trying to stop the communist advance and the approach strategy between Aldo Moro and Enrico Berlinguer (53).
Georgetown CSIS becomes the ideological bastion and political trampoline. Its investigators are recruited at a golden price in every western nation. But there are not only the American foundations. Another institutions in the West, like the sect Moon, don´t forget the pressing needs of the fight against communism.
Clara Sterling and Paul Henze turn up like CSIS´s investigators “on task” (54). Other Bulgarian track inspirers are also from the CSIS: Michael Ledeen himself, Arnaud de Borchgrave (in the sect Moon, too) and the former CIA´s chief, William Colby (55).
Rome´s court of first instance that carried out the trial about the Bulgarian track published in November 1986 the full 1200 pages of the sentence.
The document, signed by the court president, Severino Santiapiche, establishes that “the attempt against John Paul II was the result of an international conspiracy”
Likewise, the document passes absolutory sentence in favour of the Bulgarians “due to insufficient proofs”. The public prosecutor has appealed in front of the three turkisk involved in the process and, consequently, the sentence could be modified in its case (56).
The sentence includes to light prison terms:
- Omer Bagci, sentenced to three years and two months in jail for having introduced in Italy the pistol of the crime. He is a Turkish and he is the Gray Wolves representative in Switzerland.
- Ali Agca, with a former sentence of life imprisonement, receives now a sentence of one year more and a one million lirae fine for illicit weapons possession.
Bekir Celek. Chief of the Turkish mafia, has not been judged since he died in Turkey the 12th October 1985 “due to a cardiac arrest”. (58).
The Vatican rejected to comment on the sentence. Without making clear the reasons, the pope told Deskur, his closest friend inside the Vatican: “I was convinced from the beginning, that the Bulgarians were completely innocent, that they have nothing to do with the attempt”. Wojtyla also told to Deskur: “Anyone being the responsible, he was working literally for the devil”. Deskur asked him why he didn´t follow the processes against Agca and his accomplices, to what the pope answered: “I am not interested; because the Devil has been the one who committed that act. And the Devil may conspire in one thousand ways, none of which are of interest to me” (59). Deskur affirms that the pope would not have allowed official investigations or analysis on the part of the Vatican (60).
According to the biographer Weigel, the night before receiving the shots, the pope John Paul II read in the Breviary a brief passage of the New Testament: Be frugal and watch. Your adversary, the Devil, is around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour (61)
When the news about the Bulgarian track began to be known, Giulio Andreotti met with the pope: “I told him that the data I had were such that they exclude a Bulgarian implication and that, therefore, we should look the truth in another place”, recalls Andreotti (62). But the Italian politician does not desire to go deeper and, as we have seen neither desired the pope.
Wojtyla and Gorbachov
Apparently, the USA information services reported the attempt slowly. The first CIA´s internal study was not carried out until May 1983 and showed “a tendency to put in question the Bulgarians complicity”. But what above everything induced the CIA´s upper analysts to reject the Bulgarian connection hypothesis was the fact that “Moscow didn´t have any incentive for it. Even more, in 1981 the analysts were convinced that “Moscow had reached an agreement with the pope by virtue of which he would moderate Poland agitation in exchange of the soviet promises of no intervention.
On July the 12th 1985, the CIA´s formed Special Group about the pope delivered a note in which it was said that “John Paul II role as a polish crisis aggravating force became compensated by his moderating role and that Moscow had little to gain with his elimination… To kill the pope would not have solved Moscow’s polish problem, but, on the contrary, it would have exacerbated it since it would cause more agitation”
It was the correct conclusion. Otherwise, the National Security Agency (NSA), which function is to intercept the ciphered messages and non-ciphered from friends and foes all around the world, secretly listened the phone communication of John Paul II – and of the Holy See – with the polish episcopate (63).
John Paul II´s private contacts with the soviets and the letters between the Vatican and Moscow that monsignor Hilary Franco secretly carried at the beginning of 1981, had created in Moscow the sensation that “the pope strived to get a moderate position – and not a cooling – in Poland (64).
On January the 13th 1987, John Paul II and the polish general Jaruzelski met in the Vatican. In June 1983 both had carried out an urgent meeting in Cracovia and afterwards they had maintained an important private mail.
Jaruzelski had met Gorbachov in April 1985 and they had stayed in close communication since then. During their first meeting, they talked about the polish church and the pope. Says Jaruzelski: “I praise myself thinking that I was the one who, by first time, put together the pope and Gorbachov, although without their physical presence… Because I was the one who knew Gorbachov well”.
The story that the general makes manifests his pope and Gorbachov “mutual friend” condition: “Simply, because of the position I hold in the politics of that time, I became, so to say, in the extraoficial channel and the carrier of certain opinions from Gorvachov to the pope and from the pope to Gorvachov. I could talk with each one of them about my assessment of their respective personalities in the most constructive aspect” (65).
In some declarations delivered to the Turin´s daily Stampa Sera, general Ambogio Viviani, who was the Italian counter-espionage responsible for four years, entails the P2 with the papal attempt. According to the general, “To analyse the attempt of the century it is necessary to write in three columns the dates of what was happening by then in Poland, Ali Agca´s movements and what was happening in Italy (P2 lists showing up)” (66) Juan Arias comments: “ The fact that the P2, in some way, directly or indirectly, participated in the papal attempt has always been a taboo that everybody wanted to avoid” (67).
Therefore, the investigation of the attempt that could cost the life to the pope Wojtyla becomes a state’s secret. Or, still better, of several States: Italian and French, but (as we will see next) also of the Atlantic and the Vatican.
Former examining magistrate Germain Sengelin, who retired in 1997 and now gives lessons to the French gendarmerie and to the Swiss police about crimes elucidation, insists from years ago in the following: “Whenever it is possible to resort to a State reason the agents with political decision power have no interest in fighting the organized crime
The Atlantic track
On November the 24th 1982, Trenton magistrate Carlo Palermo announced arrest warrants against two hundred persons of diverse nationalities, who worked for the so far in our times most important weapons and drugs dealers circle (70). “The circle, which sent heroin to the West and weapons to the East, dominated this traffic in both directions from Turkey and the Near East to all western Europe and the United States. The main components were the Sicilian mafia that worked hand by hand with the North American Cosa Nostra, and the Turkish mafia, whose commander in chief was the godfather Abuzeer Ugurlu. The connection of the Turkish mafia with the other gangs in Europe was Urgulu’s co-godfather Bekir Celenk, which detenction was ordered by Palermo some weeks later”. The matter was big, shameful: “Thousands million dollars, powerful banks, untouchable reputation men, masons, high rank military, Vatican financiers, terrorists, assassins, East and West intelligence services” (71).
Rightly enough John Paul I, as we have seen in the testimony of the person from Rome, intended to confront before everybody to the masonry and the mafia
On October the 2nd 1991, magistrate Carlo Palermo denounced in the weekly Avvenimenti that the International Commerce and Credit Bank (BCCI) “was the terrorism and world weapons traffic strong box”. The foremost accused in the weapons and drugs investigation carried out by the magistrate Palermo “will later on be accused in the Calvi-Ambrosian business and in the attempt against pope Wojtyla” (72).
Magistrate Palermo says: “Eight years ago in my investigation about weapons and drugs the same names than today had emerged, in coordination with a mysterious society, Tgs. The (Guard) of Finance told me: Tgs means Theodore G. Shackeley, ex chief of the CIA in Rome and director of all the CIA´s covered actions along the 70´s. Following that track, the names of other banks and also the track of the P2 appeared.
A little before, the 1st of July, BCCI´s, Panamanian dictator Noriega personal bank, scandal had exploded: “The scandal had began to grow in 1989 in the USA, when Miami´s Commerce and Credit Bank affiliated declared itself guilty of having recycled dirty money from the traffic of drugs. A Tampa (Florida) court sentenced seven leaders in charge of drugs traffic and signalled the BCCI like Manuel Antonio Noriega´s personal bank. Successively, after several attempts to maintain the scandal under control, implications of secret services – in particular the CIA -, weapons international traffic, and even a net that should acquire elements to manufacture nuclear bombs on account of Pakistan, Iraq and Argentine began to emerge” (73)
It is one of the present international order bitterest truths. In the weapons and drugs clandestine market, the use of personnel specialised in the violence exertion is necessary due to diverse causes: to protect inversions and merchandise not covered by the laws and the official institutions, to deter aggressive competitors, to demand credits, to eliminate witnesses and competitors, to obtain respect on the contracts (74).
In his book titled The pope in the line of fire Magistrate Carlo Palermo affirms: “Always talking about that far away 1983, I was reported, by an information of the Milano´s Finance, about the roll carried out by and important Islamic credit institution, the International Commerce and Credit Bank, a bank founded by the Pakistani mafia operating all around the world, entailed to the drugs and weapons traffic, and even to the terrorism. That report also included some inculcating elements among those high level complicities and some of our mysteries: that of the Ambrosian Bank, the P2, Calvi´s suicide in London, that of our deviated secret services, the most recent that of the attempt to the pope. This last episode was described in a very different key to that indicated by Ali Agca” (75).
In the function of examining magistrate, Carlo Palermo interrogated Agca in February 1983: “Upon the data base verified at a banking level, the Turkish assassin appeared linked to the British masonry leadership and the fundamentalist sects inspired in the Fatima cult” (76). About this theme, we’ll come back later on, since (seemingly) the third Fatima’s secret has been used and manipulated by the attempt responsible.
Magistrate Palermo wanted to follow his investigation in Sicily and, in February 1985, he moved to Trapani, where he took up his colleague Giacomo Ciaccio Montalto´s office, who had been assassinated in the first months of 1983: “I found myself a few meters away of well hidden Masonic loggias, that secretly grouped, at an international level, mafia and political brothers, Bulgarian and Russian, Arabs, Templar and personages next to the Vatican roman rooms, friends of the American “brothers”, linked to the hidden centres of the USA executive power and P2´s maximum levels. In Trepan it also was present a NATO military base, where I lived during a month more or less. Suddenly moved away from the base, a week later – deprived of the route protection that it offered – I suffered the Puzzling attempt. It was April the 2nd 1985” (77).
One month later it was discovered near Trapani the clandestine refinery of Alcamo, “supplied of drugs by the same organization them the Turkish mafia uncovered in Trent. Celek and Ali Agca were part of it” (78). Not in vain it was said that “from Naples to Trapani the territory is only in part in the State hands” (79).
Numerous arabs in the organization, and also the Turkish Tegmen Ertem, Bekir Celk and Atalay Saral (these two last ones also involved in the papal attempt) “for a long time they enjoyed of protection in Europe and the United States, always as american secret services reporters and covered agents. It is not, therefore, by chance that Mehmet Ali Agca have been in contact with the Turkish and Sicilian mafia organization, which for that years have a laboratory for the elaboration of base morphine in Trapani (precisely in Alcamo)” (80).
The Grey Wolves is a party that negotiate with drugs as a financial mean: “Hidden in trucks, the heroin is transported through Bulgaria and Yugoslavia – the Balcones route – to Europe. In Italy, Germany, Belgium or Holland the Turkish bands carry out again the final distribution. This was like this at the end of the 70´s and have not change up today” (81).
Six months after the attempt, Agca was in Palermo for two days and he was mysteriously financed, as the trapanes Mafioso Vincenzo Calcara has declared. The reformed Mafioso “said that in the papal attempt it would have been connections between Ali Agca (which presence was noted in the Sicilian place from the 13th at 2300 hours till the morning of the 14th of December 1980), Totò Riina, Antonino Vaccarino, Castelvetrano´s (Trapani) demo Christian ex mayor and some `Antonov´ (not identified), who would be assassinated later on in Milan”. According to Vicenzo Calcara, “in 1981, before the papal attempt, ten thousand million lira were sent from Castelvetrano to Rome in two suitcases, withdrawn form the boss Francesco Messina´s room” (82).
Agca´s stay in Palermo is confirmed from Tunis, where he stayed for two weeks (from November the 28th to December the 12th) in the Hammamet Hotel Continental accompanied by some Youssef Dag. Both “tourists” were seen together three times in front of the travel agency Tunisia Welcome Service, according to the director of the Sûreté Nationale Ahmed Bennaui´s testimony: “One of the female employees acknowledged without any doubt the photographs of both men, among a lot of them. It was Dag the one who bought Agca´s ticket for the night ferry to Palermo, showing Faruk Ozgun´s passport (false), while Agca was waiting in the other sidewalk. He told us that he asked why Dag´s friend didn’t go in to buy his ticket, and Dag answered him that Agca was not feeling well” (83).
According to magistrate Carlo Palermo, Agca´s godfather, Oral Celik, could not be less than a MIT´s leader, Turkish secret service, linked directly to the America secret services” (84). The CIA´S ex agent, Philip Agee confirms it: “The CIA was in contact with the MIT for years. The CIA was in charge of this organization in all its areas” (85).
Turkish newspaperman Ugur Mumcu was the first to discover the connections between the Turkish mafia that basically carried out its business through Bulgaria and the Turkish extreme right. As early as at the beginning of the 80´s the newspaperman declared : “Paul Henze is a CIA´s collaborator. Some two months ago showed up at my home in an unexpectedly way Henze and the American newspaperwoman Clara Sterling. Henze and the Sterling talked to me for quite some time so that I supported their story: the soviet secret service was involved in the papal attempt. But this is a rough invention”, “recall the name of Ruzi Nazar. He is CIA´s liaison with the Grey Wolves from years ago”. The newspaperman was assassinated in 1993. (86).
Turkish Oral Celik will talk about two monsignors of the roman Curia involved in the papal attempt: “One of these monsignors told Agca that his meeting was already written down… One prayed for him, the other affirmed that the polish pope had thrown all the Vatican into confusion… Ali Agca is a formidable shooter. If he had wanted, that afternoon he would have not failed against a so easy target at that distance. The truth is that Agca did not wanted to kill the Pontiff. His task was to do exactly what he did: to wound him. That is what the Holy See persons who organized the attempt wanted” (87).
In Rome, between March and April 1981, the leader of the logia P2, Licio Gelli, showed to Vanni Nisticò (Italian socialist party press chief and an affiliated to the P2) some photographs, presenting Pope Wojtyla completely naked at Cantelgandolfo swimming pool edge. Gelli commented: “The problem are the secret services. If they are able to make these photographs to the pope, imagine how easy it would be to shoot at him” (88).
The pope photographs business is told to the magistrates by Bruno Tassan Din, Rizzoli-Corriere della Sera delegate administrator, an editorial group controlled by the P2: “Gelli and Ortolani were particularly interested in the acquisition of the photographic service, saying that his eventual publication could also put into difficulty to pope Wojtyla in relation with the internal fights that were taking place inside the Vatican, We, then, acquired the photographic service, which I personally delivered to Gelli” (89).
In February 1994 the magazine 30 Giorni published an interview with the criminologist Francesco Bruno, an Italian secret services specialist from 1978 to 1987. Bruno maintained that the attempt did not intend to kill John Paul II but only to give him a warning: “No serious assassin would have used the Browning pistol to mortally wound his victim”, “in any shooting school they teach how to point towards the thorax, he neither shot the whole magazine, as any professional assassin would have done, nor wanted to use a precision rifle”
Some days after the attempt, it was said in the Vatican that it had had only an intimidating objective and it was related to pope’s intention to grant the personal prelature to the Opus Dei. (90). On May the 1st, Vatican Radio had announced that the 12th and the 18th of May, Opus founder Escrivá´s beatification cause would begin. A big assault of the Opus to the Vatican palaces was being set off from diverse angles (juridical, economical, political). We’ll see it later on.
On May the 6th, in San Dámaso courtyard, the new Swiss grads oath annual ceremony took place. A little before, during the mass, the pope had told to the new gards: “Let´s pray to the Lord so that he keeps away from the Vatican walls violence and fanatics. But the availability to deliver the life, if it is necessary, can also become real during your service”. The new gards squad was under the command of a new captain, Alois Estermann, linked to the Opus Dei and ready to take over the Brigade command. “There were extreme tension days and weeks in the Vatican: a part of the Masonic-curial sector wanted the Pontiff resignation and pretended a new conclave”, says the Vatican group of ecclesiastics and seculars hiding in the collective “the Truth Disciples” (91).
Examining magistrate Rosario Priore, one of the Italian magistrates in charge of the attempt’s investigation, never left out the possibility that the complot to assassinate pope Wojtyla would have had its origin and complicities inside the Vatican.
Agca declared that the crime’s weapon had been delivered to him in Milan. The investigation proved that the Turkish aggressor had been twice in Milan, in the Hotel Aosta, under the false name of Faruk Ozgun: from the 18th to the 19th and from the 23rd to the 25th of April. In the same lodging was the 26th of April some Van Hoai Philip Tran, under a service passport no. 347175 drawn up on June the 6th 1971 by the Vatican City. The lodging register has not been found, since it was destroyed during the building reconstruction works. Nevertheless, one copy of the register was found in the Digos (antiterrorist police) of the Lombardy capital. In this copy the place and birth date of that client appears crossed out.
The investigation did not get to establish the reason why, seventeen days before the attempt against the pope, a Vatican monsignor (appointed prelate in His Holiness honour, on 16-12-83) stayed in the same hotel frequented by Agca and the other Turks. It was neither possible to find out who and why had tried to hide that fact crossing it out of the lodging register.
Examining magistrate Rosario Priore looked in vain for the Vatican authorities collaboration: “Many questions of this investigation could have been solved if there were some collaboration on the part of the Vatican City. But we have found ourselves in front of an attitude that looks like an intention, and it is not understandable which are the objectives, to close any investigation about the crime and to place a slab on the search of the truth” (93).
That attitude is the same that tries to hide other facts, that in one or other way have a relationship and that we summarize:
- John Paul I found himself with the same situation that John Paul II and had decided to confront (courageously, before everybody) the masonry and the mafia. This fact has been hidden, the same way as his death cause. Everything indicates that he died in a provoked way (94).
- It is understandable that one of the first decisions adopted by John Paul II were to create an especial security body, His Holiness Secret Service (SSSS) (95)
- Unlike what John Paul I intended to do, John Paul II maintains Marcinkus, who had negotiated first with Sindona and then with Calvi, as IOR´s head (96).
- That month of May 1981 was tremendous: on the 13th, the attempt against John Paul II; on the 20th, Roberto Calvi is jailed and, besides, on that day the P2 Masonic logia lists are published, leading to the Italian government fall. (97).
- Calvi, in the jail in which he was for two months, tells his wife Clara and his daughter Anna: “The name of this trial is IOR” (98).
- When coming out of the jail, Calvi calls on Marcinkus, who underwites him with some sponsorship letters.
- One year later, Calvi tell his protector Flavio Carboni that “he ought make understand the Vatican that the priests should honour their compromises, because in other case he would reveal all he knew” (100).
- In the same period, on May 1982, Calvi tells his daughter: “The priests will have to sell Saint Peter´s square”, “with such figures people can kill”, “if they come, I will shoot against them” (101).
- At the same time that he maintains Marcinkus, John Paul II assumes the line of Agostino Casaroli, his State Secretary, who on February 1981 manifests: “Those who critizice us have the whole reason. We can not follow like this. We must change” (102).
- Emanuela Orlandi disappearance (22-06-83), a daughter of a Vatican employee, has been considered like an element of pressure upon the pope (103).
- On May the 25th 1984 an agreement is signed in Geneva, according to which the IOR compromises itself to pay 250 million dollars to the Ambrosian Band creditors, 109 banks (104).
- Calvi is hanged (17-06-82) and Sindona, poisoned (22-06-89) (105).
- From the beginning of his pontificate, amidst a deaf fight for power, John Paul II facilitates Opus assault to the Vatican palaces. We will see it later on (106).
- On May the 4th 1998, in this power fight context for the Vatican control (a true case of diabolic possession), the triple crime takes place in the Swiss Guard (107).
- Besides, as we just have seen, the Vatican hides like a State’s secret, altogether with other States, the international weapons and drugs trade, whose main accused, according to magistrate Palermo, are also involved in the Calvi-Ambrosian business and in the attempt against pope Wojtyla.