Italy: Watching His Language

Watching His Language

"Everyone who knows me knows that I do not speak English," insisted Sergei Antonov, in his native Bulgarian. That disclaimer by the trembling, white- faced defendant came in response to pointed questioning by Judge Severino Santiapichi last week at the four-month-old trial in Rome of Antonov and six other defendants; they are accused of conspiring with Turkish Gunman Mehmet Ali Agca to assassinate Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square four years ago. The question of Antonov's linguistic skills is considered vital to the , prosecution's case because Agca has said that he communicated with his alleged coconspirators in English.

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