Documents from the Stasi archives on the anti-Bulgarian campaign surrounding the investigation of the assassination attempt.
December 4, 1982
Telegram, [redacted] to Comrade Mielke
This document was made possible with support from The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
(Delete Where Inapplicable)
Sender: Sofia – XXXX
Recipient: Berlin – Mielke (Additionally to the Comrades XXXX, XXXX and XXXX [redacted]
Sofia, December 4, 19XX
Dear Comrade Mielke!
The arrest of the employee of the representation of the Bulgarian airline “BALKAN” in Rome, Sergej Iwanow Antonow [Sergei Ivanov Antonov], and the allegation that he contributed to the attempted assassination of the Pope, have no basis in fact. Antonow is not in communication with our reconnaissance services and has nothing in common with Agza and the accomplices. Strengthening the “body of facts” of the hostile campaign of the American propaganda centers in order to bring forward proof that Agza was trained by our agencies at the instruction of the KGB of the USSR is the goal of this grave provocation. In October of this year, the Italian lead investigator Ilario Martella visited the USA in order to – as he himself stated to the press – study the sources of the article published in the magazine “Readers Digest” by the American journalist Clair Sterling and the materials for the association NBC’s movie which are full of slander in the direction that the attempted assassination was a work of our agencies and the agencies of the KGB. This visit was the preparation for a reinforcement of the hostile campaign of the Western centers. Clearly this represents a large-scale active measure by the CIA and the Italian security agencies in order to strengthen the anti-communist propaganda globally.
Indications are available to our agencies that XXXX [redacted] who lives in Rome and the American TV journalist XXXX [redacted] who is active in Paris have contact with CIA officers. XXXX [redacted] has lived for many years as a US citizen in Rome and is known among foreign correspondents for her close contacts with the CIA and with the news service of the US embassy.
According to statements from the investigation procedure against Agza, the investigating judges already received a letter from XXXX [redacted] in the first days after the assassination attempt in which he informed them that according to information from his sources in the CIA, the assassination attempt was the work of the agencies of the KGB of the USSR.
It is requested that we be supported in defending against the hostile campaign of the Western propaganda centers and that we be transmitted materials regarding XXXX, XXXX and XXXX [redacted] in case any are available to you.
Our number: 1329/82
With socialist greetings
In this letter sent from Sofia to Erich Mielke, the author rejects that Sergei Ivanov Antonov had anything to do with the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II.
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