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Gorbachev denies ordering Pope's assassination May 14, 2008

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has categorically denied ordering the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in 1981.

The Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that Gorbachev wrote to German foreign-policy analyst Werner Kaltefleiter in 2006, specifically denying that he was involved in the attempt on the Pope's live. La Repubblica claims to have a copy of Gorbachev's letter.

Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish gunman, shot and severely wounded Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981. Almost immediately after the attack, Vatican officials indicated that they thought the Soviet Union was behind the assassination attempt.