Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Brezhnev Doctrine and the Pope

In the UK's Sunday Times, John Follain writes from Rome about Leonid Brezhnev's plot to kill the Pope:

Ever since Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish gunman, shot the late Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981 in St Peter’s Square in Rome, investigators have tried to solve one of the 20th century’s greatest mysteries: did Agca act alone or was he obeying communist orders? This week an Italian parliamentary commission will officially conclude that Agca was part of a huge conspiracy masterminded by the GRU, the Soviet military secret service, on the orders of the politburo and Leonid Brezhnev, general secretary of the Communist party.

From the article:
Paolo Guzzanti, the commission’s president, said last week that it had come to a “categorical conclusion”. For this the commission, which studied the files of Italian judicial inquiries and questioned investigating magistrates, has relied in part on disclosures made by Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, a French anti-terrorist specialist.

“Bruguière showed us the evidence, based on several testimonies and documents, that the GRU received the order to murder the Pope directly from the politburo and probably from Brezhnev himself. This was not less than two months before the shooting,” said Guzzanti, a senator from the centre-right.

“We had thought it was the KGB, but Bruguière was very precise. He found that the GRU wanted to compromise its rival. And so with one blow the GRU would eliminate the Pope and discredit the KGB because everyone would think the KGB did it,” he said.

Bruguière’s sources, Guzzanti said, included Abu Nidal, the late Palestinian terrorist. They may also have included Carlos the Jackal, the jailed Venezuelan terrorist whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez. Bruguière has been investigating him for 20 years. “We know Carlos the Jackal trained in the same places as Agca, in Syria and Sudan,” Guzzanti said.
(via Jeremy Putley)

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