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The Assassination Attempt on Pope John Paul II

Members

Hon. Millicent Fenwick

Commissioner

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

Bingham

Commissioner

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

Hon. Don Ritter

Commissioner

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

Hon. Patrick Leahy

Commissioner

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

Hon. Alfonse D'Amato

Commissioner

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

Moderator

R. Spencer Oliver

Staff Director and General Counsel

Witnesses

Claire Sterling

Journalist and author of “The Terror Network”

Michael A. Ledeen

Senior Fellow

Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University

Atanas Slalov

Bulgarian Emigre

The subject of this hearing, which Commissioner Millicent Fenwick chaired, was whether or not there was the possibility of complicity, on the part of the Soviet and Bulgarian secret police, to Turkish terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca’s assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. As per Principle VI of the Helsinki Final Act, signatory nations are to refrain from direct or indirect assistance to terrorist activities. Bulgaria and the Soviet Union were privy to this at the time of the hearing.

The hearing utilized witnesses to shed light as to whether or not Bulgaria and the Soviet Union were honoring this commitment in Principle VI, which was not a guarantee, especially because of Mehmet Ali Agca’s potential involvement in a Turkish arms ring that Bulgarians supported. The hearing was part and parcel of an “essential” effort to carefully and impartially examine all evidence of possible Soviet and Bulgarian involvement with Agca. 

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Hearings

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