The Press Democrat from Santa Rosa, California on March 30, 1978 · 6
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The Press Democrat from Santa Rosa, California · 6

Publication:
Location:
Santa Rosa, California
Issue Date:
Thursday, March 30, 1978
Page:
6
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FfjaJLS' Thuriiday. March 1978 Vatican may enter Moro case VATICAN CITY (UPI) - The Vatican hinted today it would be willing to Intervene with "humanitarian acts" to secure the release of kidnapped former Premier Aldo Moro. The Vatican itatement came 15 days after Moro wai kidnapped by the ultra-leftist Red Brigades guerrillas and a day after a letter purportedly written by Moro said he might have to reveal "unpleasant and dangerous" information if officials do not cooperate with his captors. At the same time. Italian police sources said a reported underworld threat to begin killing 148 Red Brigades prisoners in eight maximum security prisons today apparently fizzled. "As is known, the Holy See has never backed away in the face of carrying out humanitarian actions," Vatican spokesman Don Pierfranco Pastore told reporters. Pastore made the comment when reporters asked him about a passage in the alleged Moro letter issued Wednesday night that suggested the Vatican could take action to win the politician's release. "I think a previous step by the Holy See or by someone else? Who? could be useful," the letter said. Pastore said that before any Vatican action could be considered, "many uncertain and dark points would have to be clarified" about the purported Moro letter. Although Pastore did not mention the incident, Pope Paul VI offered himself as a substitute hostage for about 100 passengers held hostage aboard a Lufthansa airliner in Mogadit.hu. Somalia last year. The pope's offer became unnecessary when West German commandos freed the Mogadishu hostages. Italian officials, meanwhile, were worried about the alleged Moro letter because of hints he might be forced to reveal political secrets of past administrations. Police sources, meanwhile, said no such slayings as those supposedly threatened by Italian underworld figures were reported. The reports had set a deadline of 4 a.m. today. The Rome newspaper II Messaggero reported Tuesday it had received a letter from underworld crime bosses complaining the massive police search for Moro had cut into their business. The letter said the crime bosses threatened to have Red Brigades prisoners killed if Moro was not released. Police have said common crime in the country has gone down 60 percent since the Moro kidnapping. Interior Minister Francesco Cossiga received what Investigators thought was an authentic handwritten letter from Moro Wednesday night, and held an emergency meeting with Premier Giulio Andreotti to discuss the government's response. Moro was kidnapped two weeks ago today by ultra-leftist Red Brigades terrorists, who shot and killed his five police bodyguards. The letter was the first direct communication from, the frail. 61-year-old Moro. Photocopies of the letter were found in Rome, Milan. Genoa and Turin gar- bane cans by reporters alerted by telephone. Police said the letter seemed genuine and top investigator Luciuno Infclisi said: "This is it." The letter, addressed to Cossiga, said the Red Brigades were subjecting Moro to an intensive "people's trial." . "I am under full and unchecked domination, subjected to a people's trial that can be graduated as is seen fit," Moro said. ' "I am in this position with all the knowledge and sensitivity deriving from my long experience, with the risk of being called or induced to suy things that might be unpleasant and dangerous in certain circumstances." The letter did not elaborate on this warning or say what the Red Brigades demands were. Politicians said they did not believe . Moro was acqua.inted in detail with NATO defense secrets. But as a five-time premier and a minister in nine postwar cabinets he may know political secrets damaging to his scandal-ridden Christian Democratic party. Politicians have speculated the Red ' Brigades may use Moro as a hostage to demand freedom for the gang's founder, Renato Curcio, and other group members currently standing trial in Turin. The letter urged Andreotti to confer with President Giovanni Leone and other top politicians and persuade whoever may be reluctant to give in to Red Brigades demands. "May God enlighten you, sparing you from being mired in a painful episode on which many things might depend," it said. Obstacle to halting drug flow Four go on trial in exorcism death ASCHAFFENBURG, West Germany (UPI) Two Roman Catholic priests and the parents of a 23-year-old woman who died while undergoing exorcism rites went on trial -today for manslaughter. The young woman. Anneliese Michel, died of starvation in 1976 at the age of 23. Charged with manslaughter in the case were the two priests, Arnold Renz, 67, and Ernst Alt, 40, and the victim's parents, Josef and Anna Michel. According to the indictment, a diagnosis by doctors determined that the woman was' an epileptic. But the two priests thought she had symptoms of being possessed by the devil and applied to their bishop for permission to begin an exorcism process. Bishop Josef Stangl of Wuerzburg granted the permission and Alt began exorcism. After his transfer to another parish, Renz continued the program, reading exorcism prayers three times weekly in the Michel home, the indictment said. Before the opening of the trial. Miss Michel's father, Josef Michel, asked the court for permission to say a brief prayer. But presiding judge Elmar Bohlaender turned down his request. "We are in a court room and not in a churdh," Bohlaender said. During the exorcism rites Miss Michel refused food and her weight dropped to 70 pounds before she died at home. A psychiatric expert brought into the case by the prosecution was quoted as saying she could have been saved if she had been given medical assistance as late as a week before her death. The prosecution argued that the two priests and the young woman's parents must have recognized that she was dying and that medical help was necessary to save her. f wedge works wardrobe magic! Ever wonder why wedges create such big fashion news every season? Footworks tops this classic wedge'with" rich, genuine leather to make it travel from jeans to skirted looks . . . now you've got , the answer! 21.99 Navy Chino Camel r :nmth's hoe: Five Locations: Uklah Petaluma . 519 4th Street Montgomery Village The Fashion Coddingtown RA's SMART MONEY ui in Ml in SALE , Orig. $175 Spring Vested Suit Collection. Spring-weight fabrics include stripes and plaids or solid color sharkskins. 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Javits, R-N.Y., said that because of the corruption and several other factors, the U.S. program to nip drug trafficking at the source has had only a "minimal" impact. In fact, international drug. con-. Irol program officials claim the amount of cocaine coming into the United States has increased, with the total estimate runuinu from 15 tons to over 100 tons a year, GAO said. The Druti Enforcement Administration and officials of the State Department said, however, that Colombia, as well as Bolivia and Peru, are "more committed to narcotics control than they were several years ago." 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