Agca Reports Bulgarian Plot to Kill Walesa
Mehmet Ali Agca, who says he shot the Pope on Soviet orders, testified Wednesday that Bulgarians had plotted to kill Solidarity leader Lech Walesa when he visited the Polish-born pontiff but that Italian police discovered the plan and it was canceled.
The Turkish terrorist also said during his fifth day of court testimony that the Soviet Union ordered the bombing of Radio Free Europe in West Germany. And he told of being sent by Bulgaria to study the possibility of killing the leaders of Tunisia and Malta.
Agca is the star prosecution witness in the trial of three Bulgarians and four Turks charged with complicity in the May 13, 1981, attempt to kill Pope John Paul II, who was seriously wounded.
Agca is serving a life term for the shooting.
The 27-year-old gunman testified about his stay in Rome in January, 1981, while Walesa was visiting the Pope. It was the heyday of the now-outlawed Polish trade federation, the first in the Soviet Bloc.
“The Bulgarians wanted to also eliminate the Polish union leader Lech Walesa,” Agca said, adding that the attack was to come after Walesa finished a news conference.
Remote Car Bomb
“Lech Walesa was to have been eliminated in front of that Foreign Press Assn. with a radio-controlled car bomb,” he said. “But it wasn’t carried out because an Italian informer had warned that the Italian secret service was aware of the plot.”
Investigating Judge Ilario Martella, who brought the indictments against the men accused of complicity in the Pope’s shooting, dropped charges against four Bulgarians and two Italian union leaders whom Agca had accused of being involved in the alleged attempt on Walesa’s life. He said there was insufficient evidence.
The Soviet Union denied Agca’s assertion on Tuesday that it ordered the attempt on the Pope’s life. Bulgaria also denied that allegation, along with those Agca made Wednesday.
Walesa, reached by telephone in Gdansk, Poland, had no comment except to say: “My time hasn’t come yet.”
Agca said the Gray Wolves, a right-wing Turkish terrorist group to which he belonged, bombed U.S.-financed Radio Free Europe’s headquarters. He said the bombing, “commissioned by the Soviets, naturally,” was carried out in the fall of 1980.