Following are two excerpts from the report of the Italian prosecutor, Antonio Albano: But who is Mehmet Ali Agca?

Born in a poor border region of Turkey, he is of lively intelligence, untamed instincts, deeply Islamic by culture and mentality. He lives far from the world of workers and students but is well prepared to enter the vicious but profitable criminal underworld. A typical product of the history of his politically unstable country, Agca combines the fiery nationalism propagated by the NAP extreme right-wing Turkish National Action Party and its armed ideological offshoot, the Gray Wolves, with the operational methods of the mafia (a phenomenon easily understandable in Italy) which makes enormous profits out of the smuggling of cigarettes, arms, drugs, all kinds of material through Bulgaria, whose Marxist ideology does not appear to exclude the hoarding of valuable western currency. The mafia includes among its most powerful bosses Abuzer Ugurlu, his brother Sabri Ugurlu, Bekir Celenk and others.

This explains how Agca imbibes ideological formulas, even totally opposed ones of both right and left, commits crimes with neither scruple nor remorse, guided by a juvenile ethic that reinforces a personality that has been originally brought up on worn-out Third World myths with a totally petrified confidence in himself. Essentially Agca, who would later define himself as "a mercenary and an adventurer," cannot be classified in any of the usual psychological, cultural and anthropological frameworks. . . .

The Polish crisis was so dramatic that it necessitated dramatic solutions. And since the ideological ferment in Poland was due largely to the fervent religious character of the people, whose indomitable Catholicism found undoubted support and help in the local church and, above all, in the first Polish pope in history, we can see how the idea was born that the Polish "rebellion" could be seriously weakened and crushed by eliminating this pope. In this connection, it should be borne in mind that in order to subdue Poland it was necessary for the Communist army to carry out a political coup d'etat in December 1981 (a real political and ideological absurdity) to the detriment of the legal institutions, which were also Communist, with the arrest of Lech Walesa and others and the liquidation of Solidarity.

Since these facts are not simply rhetorical assertions but part of contemporary history, it is easy to reconstruct what really happened. In some secret place, where every secret is wrapped in its turn by another secret, a politician of great power -- perhaps an individual in a double-breasted suit with the reassuring look of an alligator -- took note of the extremely serious situation and, in accordance with the higher needs of the Soviet Bloc, made a decision, that cannot be judged morally in itself, of the need to kill Karol Wojtyla.