Spy Ops (2023) s01e04 Episode Script

The Plot to Kill the Pope

I wanted to leave
a mark on history and then leave.
What I had in mind
was to shoot the Queen of England.
There was Reagan,
but Reagan had already been shot.
So the only one left was the pope.
Do not be afraid.
Do not be afraid.
Open your hearts.
Open up your hearts to Christ.
St. Peter's Square in Vatican City
is where he has shown himself regularly
to countless thousands of the faithful.
Here and on his many trips abroad,
he has scorned security measures,
thrusting himself within touching distance
of the people he loves.
My intention was to kill
the pope and commit suicide.
This was my precise plan.
I remember everything.
I remember May 13.
When I woke up,
I went to Piazza Repubblica.
Indeed, it was a summer day.
There were tens of thousands of people.
I was like a tourist.
I went near the obelisk
and was approached by
a plainclothes policeman.
He looked at me for several minutes.
I looked at him.
Then he went away.
I heard this clamor,
"Long live the pope!"
A force, something inexplicable
pulled me forward.
There were so many people shouting,
"Long live the pope!"
And so, as the pope's first round passed,
it was impossible to do anything
because there was a child in the way.
It would have been terrible to shoot her.
Then he went around the second time,
and what had already been written
indeed happened.
I probably would have shot more
but the incredible thing
is that the gun jammed.
After two shots, it jammed.
I can remember how the pigeons
flew up in alarm,
and one could see
the pope was losing his strength.
We realized that he was injured,
and he slumped to one side.
I supported him
and asked if he was in pain.
He said yes, and pointed to the place.
The bullet went through his whole body.
It fell to the ground in front of me,
between me and him.
After the gun jammed,
I dropped it and someone caught me.
A strong hand.
I learned that it was a nun, Lúcia.
Basically, the world stopped spinning.
Pope John Paul is making steady progress,
but he's not yet out of danger.
The postoperative recovery
of John Paul II has happily ended.
His organs and systems function normally.
I am a journalist of Bulgarian origin.
I have been on this case for ten years.
I was interested in the attack
against John Paul II
immediately after the fall
of the Berlin Wall.
The new democratically-elected
government in Bulgaria had decided,
at the request of the United States,
to open a new investigation into
the attempted assassination
of John Paul II.
Very quickly,
after his arrest on St. Peter's Square,
Ali Ağca is presented to the judges.
A very quick investigation takes place.
He says he acted alone.
A fairly speedy trial is organized,
in which he is sentenced
to life imprisonment.
Mehmet Ali Ağca is found
guilty of the alleged crimes
and convicted to life imprisonment.
The attack on John Paul II,
there is a whiff of conspiracy,
a whiff of espionage around all of this,
which, indeed, has fascinated many people.
But if there are so many conspiracies,
it is also because there are
many secret services
that got involved in this case,
which is the most emblematic case
of the Cold War era.
A lone wolf is perfect
because he cannot be associated with
an organization like the Grey Wolves,
which is fascist,
criminal, and mafia-related.
The Grey Wolves that were, let's say
nationalists, they wanted to restore
an international Pan-Turkist unity.
The leader of this party,
Alparslan Türkeş,
who is also called the Başbuğ, the Führer,
had collaborated with the Gestapo
in the time of the Second World War.
This made the Grey Wolves a kind of
alchemy between Turkish nationalism,
extreme right-wing ideas,
fascist and Nazi ideas,
with the conviction that it was necessary
to defend a pure Turkish race
and to get rid of
all those who were Kurds,
Armenians, or Christians,
since they have another religion.
In Turkey, there was
a possibility of a communist revolution.
It was necessary to stop them,
using good or bad means,
with assassinations, murders.
In this way, the Grey Wolves
were exploited for these misdeeds.
Essentially, they were employed by the CIA
in the war on communism.
The Grey Wolves
were those who had been used
in the "stay-behind" network in Turkey.
The "stay-behind" was set up
at the end of the Second World War
on the initiative
of the United States and the Pentagon,
under the auspices of NATO.
It was a matter of creating
a whole network
of ultra-secret sleeper cells
from violent right-wing extremist groups
all over the NATO member countries,
recruiting young people
while training them,
and they could be used
in case the Soviet Union
tried to invade Europe again.
These young Turks,
until the title was made illegal,
called themselves the "Grey Wolves."
And there's a link, albeit indirect,
between Türkeş
and the man who tried to kill the pope.
I have always been, let's say,
on the side of the working class,
because I come from
a family of peasants, laborers.
In the neighborhood,
where he plays and goes to school,
he meets, as a child,
his friend, Oral Çelik,
with whom he will remain friends
throughout his life.
Together they will also discover
the ideology of the Grey Wolves.
Ali Ağca will soon make a name
by completing a hit
ordered by the Grey Wolves,
killing the chief editor
of the liberal newspaper Milliyet,
Abdi İpekçi.
It was after that time
that his real career as a terrorist began.
I ended up in the Kharkiv military prison.
It was virtually impossible
to escape from there
without help from the inside.
Someone did it
for the love of the Grey Wolves.
I had a gun with me when I escaped.
I was determined.
If something happened, I had 14 bullets.
I would have killed
anyone in my way and then myself.
He simply walked
out of prison disguised as a prison guard.
His friends, the Grey Wolves
and those helping the Grey Wolves,
gave him what he needed.
He passed through
four doors, four checkpoints.
His lifelong friend,
Oral Çelik, was outside waiting in a car.
He gets in and leaves.
I was the one who got Ağca
out of prison, and then we fled.
That's when we wrote
that threatening letter to John Paul II.
The Milliyet newspaper publishes
Ali Ağca's letter,
which clearly says,
"I escaped from prison
to kill the leader of the Crusaders,
Pope John Paul II,
who is coming to Turkey,
who comes to tread the soil of Turkey."
"The pope must not come.
Otherwise, I will kill him."
"The only reason I escaped
is to attempt to assassinate the pope."
The idea of attacking John Paul II
was, of course, linked to
the ideology of the Grey Wolves.
They were convinced
that Christians should be eliminated.
And since he was the leader of Christians,
the pope, it was not surprising
that they decided to attack John Paul II.
When I escaped, I went to Ankara,
then I went to Erzurum,
and finally to Iran.
I traversed the mountains
to Iran with an alcohol smuggler.
Very quickly, Ağca returned to Turkey.
From there, they will seek to find him
new passports, a new identity,
and to organize his trip,
this time to Europe.
And Ağca first passed through Bulgaria.
Bulgaria is a transit destination,
a crossing to get to Europe.
After a while,
I found a Turkish passport,
the same passport
that I used on the day
of the assassination attempt on the pope.
At the time, Sofia was
a haunt for all kinds of traffickers
of weapons, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes.
Ali Ağca knocks on the door of room 911
in a luxury hotel in Sofia.
It is in this hotel
that he socializes with many other Turks
who are, more or less,
implicated in the affair
of the attack on John Paul II.
They gave him money.
Ah, the Vitosha Hotel.
That's where I met Omar Mersan.
He's a fixer,
a smuggler, a friend of mine.
Everything else is fiction,
a novel, let's say.
And he will go
to Germany several times. And to Austria.
There were many Grey Wolves members
who were based in Vienna.
The commando started to look for weapons.
It is obvious that, by recommendation
of certain secret services,
they are directed to an arms dealer.
We bought the gun in Vienna.
We actually bought two guns,
for €2,000 or €3,000, I don't remember.
Then it turned out that he was a Nazi.
The gun dealer was a Nazi.
It was a coincidence, probably.
They buy four guns.
And not just any guns.
They are 9mm Brownings.
They are extremely powerful weapons
that can kill for sure.
Ali Ağca takes two.
So we returned to Rome.
We carried out the attack on the pope.
The secret service of the Soviet Union,
the KGB, must surely have been involved
in the attempt to assassinate the pope.
There was a fear that John Paul II
might contribute to the dissolution
of the Soviet empire, of the Soviet Union.
Several years before John Paul II's
election, the KGB had already anticipated
the election of Karol Wojtyła as pope.
We have a pope.
Cardinal Wojtyła.
John Paul II
was the first foreign pope to follow
a traditional series of Italian popes
that lasted many centuries.
And this foreign pope
hailed from Eastern Europe,
then under the communist regime.
The Soviet Union wanted to keep
Poland under its influence,
to keep it in check.
But John Paul II gave courage
to the Poles who, in some way,
had a revolutionary attitude
against the regime.
They rebelled, and we know about
the massive demonstrations
organized by Solidarity,
the Polish syndicate.
A nationwide strike, led by Lech Wałęsa,
shook Poland to its communist foundations.
Wałęsa and his followers
won a revolutionary concession.
For the first time in a Marxist state,
the government accepted
the right of workers
to organize independent unions.
And when John Paul II is elected,
the KGB instantly runs for cover.
There are plans and talk of measures
to counter this violent anti-communist,
namely John Paul II.
There were plans
to infiltrate the Vatican,
capillary infiltration
of the chief rooms inside the Vatican,
by men affiliated with the KGB.
Obviously, as pope,
being a great center of power
and having the ability to influence
almost the whole world
inevitably makes you
the center of interest
of all the secret services in the world.
Those years following the attack
were very difficult
in international politics.
The Vatican, at that time,
was a den of spies.
Spies from all over the world.
There were KGB spies.
There were infiltrators from the Polish
and the Czechoslovak intelligence,
the German Stasi.
There were men from the CIA.
In the Vatican,
the most active secret services
were certainly those from the East,
from Eastern Europe.
My name is Tomasz Turowski.
I'm a retired colonel
from the Polish secret services.
I was 20 years old.
I was a student.
The colonel received me and said,
"If you want to work for
the Polish intelligence services,
I support you."
"You have 24 hours to decide."
"And forget this meeting."
Twenty-four hours later, I said yes.
I was number 10682.
I had already received orders.
"We have decided that you will enter
the Jesuit religious order."
"You will pursue a Jesuit career
to access
strategic information about NATO."
They said, "Listen."
"The spiritual fathers and confessors
from all the special services
that are responsible
for the security of NATO bases in Italy
are, in fact, largely Jesuit priests."
"And you have to get all the way there."
"From there you can draw information
which cannot be obtained by other means."
It must be said that he had known
John Paul II even before arriving in Rome,
when he was the archbishop of Krakow.
Hence, there were ties
between the families,
between his family and John Paul II.
Therefore, as a mole, he managed
to arrive at the Vatican, in Rome,
with a recommendation from Karol Wojtyła,
the cardinal of Krakow.
But when, in 1978,
John Paul II was elected pope,
his mission changed dramatically.
Because the orders
received from that moment
were directed at knowing
everything about John Paul II,
whose physical elimination, as we know,
had definitely been planned by the KGB
should John Paul II
interfere with their plans.
Turowski is there
to understand what John Paul II does,
how he moves,
where he goes, what he thinks.
But Turowski says
he is there to protect him
and ensure that security becomes stronger
so as to avoid an attack on him.
When Wojtyła became eligible for papacy,
my headquarters
told me almost immediately,
"You have to do everything
to ensure the safety of the pope."
Before the attack,
I was looking at a report
from the Vatican surveillance service.
There were things unheard of.
During the Wednesday audiences,
they were alongside the car,
the popemobile,
but there was nobody
inside the popemobile, which is essential.
Their duty in case of a crisis,
is to cover, with their own bodies,
the object they have to defend.
The pope asked me,
"Tomasz, what is your real mission?"
I replied that my mission
is to serve the country
and look after
the safety of the Holy Father.
In fact, according to
Tomasz Turowski's version,
it was important for the Soviet bloc
to make sure
that if anything happened to the pope,
the blame would not fall on them.
Two months after
the beginning of his sentence,
Ali Ağca asks to make new revelations.
I have spent
many years working on this case.
Despite all the disappointments,
I never lost my enthusiasm.
I would still continue today.
Right from the start,
Ali Ağca has only play-acted,
almost continuously.
He thought he was leading us by the hand
and led us to a certain place
and then pushed us away.
At the time,
this Bulgarian lead quickly emerged,
and it had its origin in the statements
made by Ali Ağca himself.
Respond to the affirmation
I confirm everything I said.
The assassination
of the pope was desired by
the Bulgarian secret service,
and we, the Turks,
acted at the instigation
of the Bulgarian secret service.
Ali Ağca is someone
who has an animal instinct
for finding a way to get out of situations
and to work out how to negotiate,
to say what one wants to hear
in order to get what he wants in return.
He's very determined.
Ali Ağca receives
a visit from the secret service,
but also from a businessman
accompanied by an American.
Ağca himself says
he doesn't know who it was.
But they very clearly make him understand
that they will give him
the elements necessary
to incriminate the Bulgarians.
Concerning this Bulgarian lead,
we know it was a project
which the CIA was involved in.
I believe that even the Pentagon
and the White House were involved,
because President Reagan
had allegedly required the CIA bosses
to find evidence that the Kremlin
had ordered the attack on the pope.
We were at the height of the Cold War.
Ronald Reagan had just taken office.
It was an opportunity
to strengthen the confrontation
between the two blocs
and the doctrine which,
when the case
of the Bulgarian connection bursts,
becomes the number one concern
of the United States,
who, based on this,
declare war on the evil empire.
In fact, the attack on John Paul II
fueled the doctrine of the evil empire,
which guided the strategy
and relations between the two blocs
throughout the decade of the 1980s.
I would rather see
my little girls die now,
still believing in God,
than have them grow up under communism
and one day die
no longer believing in God.
The CIA got a new director, William Casey,
who was an extreme right-wing ideologue,
and he wanted a special assessment
on the fact the Soviets were involved
in the plot to kill the pope.
There are also articles
that appear in the press,
by Claire Sterling,
who was close to Casey,
the boss of the CIA at that time.
He was fascinated
by her writings on terrorism,
so she signs an article designating
the KGB and the Bulgarian network.
The fact is the Bulgarian
secret service could not have acted alone.
We have the testimony of a former director
of the Bulgarian secret service.
But the Bulgarian services
are the favorites of the KGB
for operations of this kind
because they are so loyal and reliable
and that they are staffed
at every level with Soviet functionaries.
One thing the Operations Directorate
was trying to do on that operational level
was to embarrass the Soviets
by making accusations
of their involvement with the papal plot.
This was a classic case of blowback.
The CIA put this information
in the European press,
Claire Sterling read the European press,
she put it in her book
and newspaper articles.
It came back to the United States,
which is one of the real risks
of having a secret intelligence agency
in a democracy.
It's not supposed to work that way.
There was talk of a Bulgarian lead
because Bulgarian citizens were involved
and also ended up on trial.
There is one man in particular,
Sergei Antonov.
This Bulgarian was even arrested
and brought to trial.
First to appear in one of
the special cages was Sergei Antonov,
one of three Bulgarians indicted,
but the only one in the dock.
The other two are back home.
Two Turkish co-conspirators,
Musa Celebi and Ömer Bagci,
are also on trial.
The problem with the case
against the Bulgarians
is it depends entirely
on the word of Ali Ağca.
He's changed his story
several times already,
and as this extraordinary trial begins,
no one knows
what he's going to say this time.
On the day of the attack of the pope,
Antonov was in St. Peter's Square
with Ali Ağca.
This photograph.
Is this person Antonov or not?
I think that it is possible.
I don't rule it out.
So why did you tell us it was Antonov?
There is only one truth.
There is only one truth.
I am innocent.
I have nothing in common
with all these stories
of which I am accused.
I have never seen, I do not know,
I have never met
the person who accuses me.
At some point, the investigation revealed
that the photos taken were not of Antonov.
They said this was a secret service man.
Then someone revealed that he was
a tourist or a pilgrim, a Hungarian.
So it's a total fiasco.
The Bulgarian connection
collapses entirely during the trial.
Curiously, the trial ends
with an odd court decision,
meaning that Antonov
and the other two defendants
are acquitted due to a lack of evidence.
The hypothesis
that the Bulgarian secret service,
and by implication the Soviet KGB,
could have been behind
the assassination attempt
became weaker and weaker
during the course of our investigations.
After two and a half years
of investigation, the judges realized
that he had lied no less than 103 times.
There is a photo
dated May 10, 1981, that portrays
Ali Ağca at a parish in Rome,
during a mass conducted by John Paul II.
It is three days
before the attempted murder
of John Paul II.
And there is Ali Ağca,
a few steps from the pope.
In order to find out
whether Ağca was present
at one of the Vatican ceremonies,
we went to great lengths
to make inquiries.
We went through all the photos
that our police has taken,
to see whether Ağca appeared at any
of the many functions held in the Vatican.
And we found something.
We recognized Ağca in one photo
close to the San Tommaso d'Aquino church,
on the outskirts of Rome
when the pope is visiting.
I also asked the pope's photographer,
who took that photo,
to double-check it and tell me
who he sees in that photo.
And he has no doubts.
That man is Ali Ağca.
But why was he there? Who let him in?
It's absolutely impossible,
because I disembarked at Termini station.
I arrived at nine or ten
in the morning on Sunday,
with a suitcase in my hand.
I went to the Isa boarding house
around noon,
so there was no time
to go to the parish of St. Thomas.
That photo? You can see that's not me.
The so-called Vatican lead,
according to which
senior officials in the Vatican hierarchy
wanted the elimination of John Paul II.
I believe that John Paul II had also made
some enemies within the Vatican
because he had decided to support,
also on an underground level, Solidarity.
Why was there talk of a Vatican lead?
Perhaps because it was known
there were issues on the Eastern policy,
on how to relate to the Soviet Union.
There were multiple enemies.
My belief is that it is related to
the Vatican Bank crash,
to the billions that disappeared.
There is a very, very big financial
scandal linked to the Vatican Bank.
We realized that it was actually used
for money laundering and wiring.
It is believed that the mafia
also used it to launder a lot of money.
And finally, we wondered,
regarding the money of the Vatican,
who manages it and how?
And it bothered a lot of people
that John Paul II decided to
throw the cat among the pigeons.
He had to do it
because this scandal of the Vatican Bank,
the authorities were looking into it.
It was becoming an international scandal,
and he had to do something.
Finding people crazy enough
to want to kill the pope
is tied to the Vatican money.
The Vatican say they were never involved
in dealings with the Ambrosiano Bank,
that they are only paying out
£170 million in good faith.
One banker in Rome this morning
described that as expensive innocence.
If the mafia was behind it,
then one billion or 1.5 billion
disappeared from the account
of Banco Ambrosiano during the bankruptcy.
I believe that John Paul II was not aware
of Banco Ambrosiano's involvement,
the mafia, and the laundered money
which was then also sent to Poland.
The secret deal was hammered out
behind the closed doors
of the Vatican Bank.
It was a gentlemen's agreement,
nothing on paper, no treaties,
just a transfer of money
in return for certain guarantees.
It was a kind of tax haven.
The Vatican was used for tax evasion,
but also to launder money,
whether by the mafia or others.
And it was very practical.
So my theory is that
there was no will to get rid of the pope,
but only to terrify him.
The attack was the last warning,
because if one wanted to kill the pope,
it would have been enough
to use bullets with mercury.
And then just a wound,
even if it was not dangerous,
would be fatal.
You can't negotiate with a dead man,
but you can with a frightened one.
Yes, indeed.
There were microphones
placed in various offices of the Vatican.
Cardinal Agostino Casaroli
was the secretary of state.
It has been confirmed by a document
of the Italian secret services
that bugs were found inside his apartment.
He was being spied on.
Bugs were found, microphones.
Those rooms were being listened to.
And even more serious,
John Paul II was also being listened to.
It was clear that there were
microphones in his apartment as well.
What intel could be obtained
with these bugs,
possibly combined with other information
on his daily habits
and possibly his state of health?
It could be someone against the pope.
This one or another one,
they would also like to eliminate
not only Pope Ratzinger,
but also Pope Francis inside the Vatican.
When we followed the "internal leads,"
we encountered a few stumbling blocks,
in part because answering
many of our questions
would have impinged
on Vatican sovereignty.
There are small elements that suggest
that there may have been something,
perhaps not an order,
but a tacit agreement
within some dark power
that wanted the pope to be eliminated.
In my case, there was nothing.
There is no Vatican conspiracy.
How many shots were fired that day?
Several inquiries
have risen up around this issue
of how many gunshots
were fired by Ali Ağca.
He has always claimed to have fired twice,
and that when he was about
to fire the third,
which was supposed to be the deadly one,
his gun jammed.
There were, however, other witnesses
who said they heard more gunshots,
at least one more gunshot.
Throughout the investigation
into the attack on John Paul II,
the judges, who tried very hard,
wanted to know
if there was another shooter.
And that's why they needed to recover
this alleged third bullet
which had been fired during the attack
and which had found itself
embedded in the door of the popemobile.
There was a photographer,
a man who was in St. Peter's Square,
that had taken pictures of the pope.
Apparently, in one of his photos,
he managed to capture a man,
Oral Çelik, another Turk,
a member of the Grey Wolves,
fleeing St. Peter's Square.
He is photographed from behind,
holding a gun,
perhaps the one
which fired the third shot,
considering that Ali Ağca's gun jammed.
I made an enlargement of the photo.
Are you sure it's Oral Çelik?
Yes, certainly.
Do you recognize the person in the photo?
Yes, it's Oral Çelik.
I've been saying that for three years.
I've been saying it for three years
that it's Oral Çelik.
It's not another person.
On this subject, during the period
in which he collaborated,
Ağca was very precise.
He stated
that there were two shooters
who planned this attack on the pope,
himself and Oral Çelik.
When the pope
started his tour of the square,
he and Oral Çelik
were each placed on one side of the aisle.
But you see this picture,
this who appears to be
running away with a gun in his hand
is a plainclothes Italian policeman.
Here. This is the first time I reveal this
because there was
no occasion to reveal it.
This is a plainclothes policeman
who escaped
that day to the Vatican.
Who knows for what reason or on duty?
Listen to me carefully.
Forget everything you've heard
before about the Bulgarian lead, all that.
When the pope arrives
in front of the crowd,
the shooters shoot him with two guns.
Two other men were there with Ağca.
So examining that bullet was critical.
It was an exhibit to prove
that there had been another shot,
that this shot
possibly came from another Browning,
and from there, to be able to complete
the scenario of the attack,
to prove that there was
an accomplice and a conspiracy,
and then to investigate
the question of the sponsors.
Here is a semi-automatic pistol
with a cartridge case that was found
at the crime scene on the square,
and a projectile.
These are the two components
that make up a live cartridge.
We showed that a similar gun and cartridge
were used in the assassination attempt
on the pope.
One thing stands out.
This projectile has a jacket.
It is not made purely of lead.
It doesn't kill, it merely wounds.
Hence, the pistol used
was not intended to kill the pope,
but rather only to wound him.
At the time,
when we decided
that the three-shot theory was plausible,
my collaborators and I started
looking for the third bullet.
And do you know where we found
the third bullet?
In the crown of the Fátima Virgin.
This weekend,
Pope Francis travels to Fátima, Portugal
to celebrate the 100th anniversary
of a mysterious apparition
that appeared to three children.
The apparition told the children in 1917
about the two world wars,
the fall of communist Russia,
and a third secret,
which was more recently revealed to be
the assassination attempt
on Pope John Paul II.
I believe Ali Ağca
is an extraordinarily smart person.
He is by no means a fool.
I believe that Ali Ağca
started changing his storyline
and giving many different versions
to save his life.
And from that moment on,
he started changing versions
and giving delusional visions
of what happened,
connecting everything
to the third secret of Fátima
and proclaiming himself
to be Jesus Christ on Earth.
I will resuscitate men who have been
scientifically declared dead,
as long as the Vatican tells the truth
that I am the only Jesus Christ.
I will resuscitate the men scientifically,
before Ronald Reagan.
That bullet,
which hit John Paul II
and wounded him in the abdomen
and which was found
inside the popemobile, the Campagnola,
the pope himself
decided to set it in the crown
of the statue of Our Lady of Fátima,
because he has always maintained
that he had been miraculously saved
by Our Lady of Fátima.
That is why a ballistic analysis
of that bullet was never authorized,
although we could have learned
the truth from it.
If we had recovered this bullet,
we could have analyzed it,
proven that it had not been shot
by Ali Ağca's Browning.
We already knew
that this Browning had fired two shots.
If only I could have had it analyzed.
But for John Paul II,
it is a symbolic way
to say to those who organized this attack,
"I know, I forgive you,
and I seal the deal forever."
"We don't talk about it anymore."
There is absolutely no third bullet.
It does not exist.
You need to see the images
that are in the hands
of the Scientific Police of Rome.
I believe Ali Ağca doesn't really know
who ordered the murder,
the attempted murder of John Paul II.
I believe he received orders,
received some money
to do his job as a professional killer.
The attack on John Paul II
is certainly a story
which inspired the most writers
and the most articles to be written,
the most versions.
Perhaps we will know in 50 years,
perhaps in 100 years.
It will be discovered that, in reality,
that a cardinal or another prelate
was a terrible secret service man
who had the task of eliminating the pope.
This is a truly incredible event.
There is a man who suffers,
and then he comes to visit you.
Because throughout the history
of the world, there is revenge.
Then he came to see me.
And naturally,
I wasn't expecting it.
Then the director of the prison
said that the pope wanted to visit me.
I said that I would be very happy.
So the pope came, incredibly,
like he was coming to see
a friend or a neighbor.
He said, "Good morning, Ali."
I welcomed him as a friend,
more like a brother.
And then
I asked if he forgave me.
He answered,
"Yes, immediately on Vatican Radio."
Then I asked, "Do you pray for me?"
He answered, "Yes, every day."
This was astonishing.
The pope was actually
praying for me every day?
You feel liberated.
Great happiness, great serenity.
For me, it was a historic moment,
an unforgettable moment in my life.
The pope's forgiveness was like a miracle.
In my opinion, it will remain
a mystery, because I don't think
it will ever be possible
to find the smoking gun,
to identify who organized
the attack on the pope.
We haven't been able
to reach a verdict.
We are still incapable
of giving the final word.
In time, I believe
the truth will come to light.
But the historical truth
will take a long time.
Ağca served 19 years
in an Italian jail for the shooting.
He was released in 2000
and then served another ten years
in Turkey for the murder
of a newspaper editor.
Now, more than 30 years later,
that act of forgiveness
brought him back to the Vatican
to pay his respects
at the pope saint's tomb.
I've come because December 27
is the anniversary
of my meeting with the pope in 1983.
I'm happy to be here
in St. Peter's Square,
the place where the miracle took place
and the home of Christianity.
I went there to visit him,
and once I was
in front of the pope's tomb, I said,
"Brother Karol Wojtyła,
I have come to honor your memory."
"That is why I'm here."
An energy, let's say,
something superhuman, supernatural,
he said, "You had to do it."
By that, he means that it had to happen.
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