Following is a verbatim transcript of testimony by Mehmet Ali Agca describing the attempt on the pope's life. The account is included in the indictment filed by investigating magistrate Ilario Martella, who interrogated Agca, and was translated from the Italian by The Washington Post. The Bulgarian names in the text are the code names by which Agca claims to have known his alleged Bulgarian coconspirators. Their real names are given in brackets. Agca says he was accompanied to St. Peter's Square by his friend Oral Celik and the three Bulgarians at 9 a.m. on May 13, 1981:
Using Petrov's [Maj. Zhelio Vasilev's] car, all five of us drove to St. Peter's Square. When we arrived, Petrov began giving us instructions . . . explaining where the crowd would be, where the barriers were, and pointing out to us the places where police were to be stationed that day. In addition, he told us what we should do after the attack: get back to the place where the car -- which was to be driven by Bajramic [Sergei I. Antonov] -- would be parked. He told us that Bajramic would drive us to the place where the TIR [sealed diplomatic] truck was ready to guarantee our escape . . .
Naturally Petrov left to us the choice of spot and the best moment to shoot the pope. Celik and I were supposed to have been between 30 and 50 meters [33 and 55 yards] apart. Petrov also told us that, after my fifth shot, Celik would set off a bomb to create panic among the crowd. In the general confusion, I would have been able to slip in among those who were fleeing, thus avoiding capture. Petrov also suggested that, if necessary, Celik could use his own pistol against the pope.
Petrov said it was dangerous for us to remain in St. Peter's Square as we ran the risk that someone would recognize us. We decided to leave immediately . . . . After saying goodbye to the three Bulgarians, Oral Celik and I took a taxi to Piazza Barberini, where we had lunch.
Agca says he and Celik met two of the Bulgarians at 3 p.m. in Piazza Barberini.
All four of us, in the car driven by Bajramic, drove to the Corso Trieste area. Here, Bajramic parked the car for a minute, returning with two attache cases, each one containing a pistol and a panic bomb. We then drove to St. Peter's Square, arriving around 4, I think. According to our plan, Bajramic parked the car near the Canadian Embassy in Via della Conciliazione . . . .
Since neither Celik nor I knew anyone in Rome, we were only interested in mixing with the crowd and passing ourselves off as ordinary tourists. Bajramic, however, said he had many contacts and for this reason used a false beard. Our disguise consisted only of dark glasses and, in my case, a camera . . . . In order to pass as tourists, we brought postcards from the Vatican post office and pretended to write them.
Before the pope came out of the cathedral, Celik and I took up our stations. I was on the right side of the square if you look at the cathedral. Celik was about 40 meters 44 yards to the left of me. The pope therefore at one point was between me and Celik. Toward 5, the pope came out in a white jeep from a side gate . . . then went into the middle of the crowd, making two circuits around the barriers.
The agreement was that the attack should take place on the second circuit, which was in fact what happened. Before I shot, I signaled with my eyes to Oral Celik . . . I had been pretending to take photographs with the camera I had but when the pope came around for the second time . . . I got rid of the camera, throwing it to the ground and pulling the gun out of the belt of my pants, firing two or three shots at the pope. I was unable to continue to shoot because people around me, realizing what I had done, grabbed my right arm in which I had the gun.
At that point, not having heard the explosion of the panic bomb by Celik and realizing that I ran the risk of being arrested or lynched by the crowd, I tried to escape by running into the crowd and throwing away my weapon. My idea was to run toward the colonnade and then to the point where Bajramic's car was parked. I was unable to do so because I was stopped by the crowd chasing me and handed over to the Italian police.