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Life threat for Pope ahead of Poland visit

A threat to kill Pope John Paul II has appeared on the website of Poland's biggest selling daily newspaper, the Gazeta Wyborcza, less than two weeks before the pontiff's visit to his native country.

The newspaper said yesterday it immediately deleted the offending text which appeared in a discussion forum on its website, and alerted the police who have launched an enquiry.

The text was "full of invective" against the pope, who is due to visit Poland from 16 to 19 August, and the author claimed he was in possession of weapons and munitions with which to launch an attack, the newspaper said.

The text, sent from an Internet cafe, was signed by one Rafal M and carried his mobile telephone number. The man protested his innocence after being inundated with calls, and suggested he was the victim of "personal vengeance."

Some 12,000 Polish police officers will be on hand to ensure security during the pope's visit, while two hospitals have been put on standby to care for him if necessary.

Gazeta Wyborcza


6 Aug 2002