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Italy parliament says Soviets plotted Pope John Paul II assassination attempt

[JURIST] An Italian parliamentary commission has concluded that the Soviet Union backed the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II [official website] by Mehmet Ali Agca [Wikipedia profile], in a report released on Thursday. The commission argues that the Soviets conspired to kill the pope because of his support for Poland's Solidarity labor movement [official website] and his role in defeating communism in Eastern Europe. The report accuses the Bulgarian secret service of participating in the plot as well, although several Bulgarians were acquitted on charges of involvement in the attempt in 1986.

Agca, who will remain in prison until 2010 [JURIST report] after a temporary release earlier this year [JURIST report], originally accused the Soviet Union of commissioning the assassination attempt, but later changed his story several times. CBC News has more.

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