Turk Accused By Agca Comes to Rome for Confrontation
ROME (AP) _ A former schoolmate Mehmet Ali Agca claims was with him when he shot Pope John Paul II came here Tuesday from Turkey to deny it.
At the invitation of the Italian court hearing the trial in the alleged conspiracy to kill Pope John Paul II, Sedat Sirri Kadem flew to Rome and was taken to the court under heavy guard. He is not charged in the case.
The testimony of Agca, who is serving a life sentence for the 1981 shooting that wounded the pope, is the primary basis of complicity charges against three Bulgarians and four Turks. He has changed his version of events and admitted that he has lied during the trial, which began in May.
Agca originally maintained that he acted alone. Later he said another Turk, then three, were with him in St. Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981.
During the Tuesday evening session, Judge Severino Santiapichi asked Kadem to look at a photograph taken by a tourist in St. Peter’s Square on the day of the shooting. Agca had testified earlier that Kadem was in the photograph, but Kadem told the judge he was not.
The judge asked Kadem whether he had been outside Turkey before Tuesday. The Turk said he had not.
Kadem testified about the two years he spent with Acga at a teacher training school in their hometown of Malatya. He said he joined a leftist political group and Agca was a rightist.
Agca has not explained in court why a leftist would be cooperating with him and other members of the Gray Wolves, a band of right-wing Turkish terrorists, in an attack on the pope.
During most of the testimony, Agca sat on a wooden bench in one of the barred, metal cages for defendants and watched Kadem intently.
When the judge asked Kadem if he thought Agca was ″psychologically normal,″ however, Agca leaped to his feet and shouted out in protest.
Kadem told the court he last saw Agca in Istanbul three months after a liberal Turkish newspaper editor was killed in 1979. Agca later was sentenced in absentia for the murder.
The former schoolmate said he met Agca near a newsstand and they talked about the killing, of which Agca said: ″Whoever did it, did well.″
Kadem told the court he was arrested in Turkey last year for selling drugs, but was cleared of the charge and released from jail.
The prosecutor has said he will go to West Germany later this month to question Yalcin Ozbey, a Turk imprisoned there on a drug charge.
Ozbey, considered one of Agca’s closest associates, said in an affidavit to investigators that he knew all about the alleged papal plot and there were four Turks in St. Peter’s Square at the time of the attack.
Santiapichi asked Agca on Tuesday if he would be willing to go to West Germany if that country continued to refuse Ozbey’s extradition. Agca said he would.