Lawyers for Sergei Ivanov Antonov, the Bulgarian detained for alleged complicity in the shooting of Pope John Paul II, produced evidence yesterday from Yugoslavia that they said destroys the case against him.
At a news conference in the Bulgarian Embassy, the lawyers showed a photocopy of the register from a Yugoslav hotel indicating Antonov's wife, Rossitska, stayed there on the night of May 8, 1981, five days before the pope was shot.
According to Italian press reports, Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca, who is serving a life sentence for shooting the pope, has told magistrates he met Antonov's wife May 10 in the Antonov apartment--at a meeting which worked out plans for the attempted assassination.
The lawyers, Giuseppe Consolo and Adolfo Larussa, said Rossitska Antonov left Italy by way of Trieste May 8, stayed at the hotel in Nova Gradiska, 60 miles southeast of Zagreb that night, and then entered Bulgaria May 9. "She was not in Rome on May 10. We have proof that Agca lied. What value, therefore, has his testimony?" Consolo said.
Consolo said he had a letter from the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry confirming the authenticity of the hotel register. He also produced a copy of Rossitska Antonov's visitor's permit for Italy, which expired May 9, 1981. He said he would submit the information to the investigating magistrate today.