The judge in the papal plot case angrily suspended today's session after a defense attorney held a shouting match with the prosecution's star witness, Mehmet Ali Agca.
"Scoundrel!" defense attorney Valerio Vianello yelled at Agca as the Turk was in the middle of a rancorous confrontation with co-defendant Musar Cerdar Celebi.
"Keep quiet, foulmouth!" retorted Agca, already serving a life sentence for shooting the Pope.
Judge Severino Santiapichi lectured the young defense attorney and stopped the exchanges by suspending the day's proceedings. Agca, four other Turks and three Bulgarians are on trial for conspiracy in the May 13, 1981, assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II.
Questioned About Meeting
The uproar began when Agca, appearing for the first time in two days, and Celebi were being questioned about a key meeting Agca claims they had in Milan five months before he shot the Pope in St. Peter's Square.
Agca claims that Celebi was an old friend and his contact with the Turkish mastermind of the plot. Agca says that during their Milan meeting Celebi gave him $400,000 in West German marks to kill the Pope.
Celebi--head of a Turkish foreign workers federation headquartered in Frankfurt, West Germany--denies any connection to Agca or the plot. He said he met Agca in Milan by chance and that Agca introduced himself as a Turkish student named Murat.
Phoned '20 or 30 Times'
"I had the phone numbers of the federation and I called Celebi 20 or 30 times," Agca said under questioning. "I also telephoned him three or four days before our meeting in Milan."
Celebi broke in, shouting, "You say we were talking, talking! But say what we were talking about!
"You must tell me how we could have talked on the telephone about the attack on the Pope, if you thought the phone might be tapped?" Celebi shouted. "You must explain that."
Agca told Celebi to keep quiet, at which point Vianello called him a scoundrel.