Report: Pope attack suspect was at scene

March 2, 2006 at 11:13 AM

ROME, March 2 (UPI) -- A report issued by an Italian parliament commission claims a Bulgarian suspected in the 1981 shooting of Pope John Paul II was at the scene when it occurred.

The report asserted photographs would show Sergei Antonov, who was later acquitted of involvement in the attack, was in St Peter's Square when the pontiff was shot, The Times of London reported.

At his trial, Antonov, who was station manager in Rome for the Bulgarian state airline, said he was in his office at the time of the shooting. He had been accused, along with the Soviet secret service, of complicity with Turkey's Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot and wounded the Pope.

Italian media reported the commission examined three photographs, one of which allegedly was of Antonov in St Peter's Square. But Antonov's lawyer claimed it was a case of mistaken identity and that the man in the photograph was an American tourist of Hungarian origin.

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