February 18, 1965
VATICAN CITY (UPI) – Police today charged the left wing brother of actor Gian Maria Volonte, who tried to put on “The Deputy” in Rome, with bombing the Vatican early yesterday morning.
Claudio Volonte, 26, was charged with being one of the two young men involved in the bombing. But he was not held in jail.
Claudio Volonte, now a member of the far left pro Chinese Socialist Party of Proletarian Unity, had been in trouble with police before for bombing incidents in the past.
At that time, however, he was on the other side of the political spectrum – a Neo Facist.
Claudio was one of the actors who with his brother Gian Maria tried to put on “The Deputy” in Rome last Saturday night at a private theater their acting group had set up,
When police stepped in to prevent the invited journalist from attending, a near riot followed.
The result was a cause celebre between the Communists and the Vatican.
The charge was made against Claudio Volonte following lengthy questioning last night that began after he surrendered voluntarily to police when he was told they wanted to talk to him.
He claimed he was with beautiful French movie star Dominique Boschero, who as a result also was called in to Rome police headquarters today for questioning.
Volonte will be tried at some future date, but until the trial was released, Under Italian law, if an offense carries a prison term of less than a year the person charged is released unless he was actually caught in the act.
He had grown a beard for a part in “The Deputy” – and one of the two men who carried out the bombing yesterday morning was wearing a beard according to a night watchman and a Rome policeman who witnessed the event.
The bomb exploded next to a huge, unused wooden door in the Vatican wall. The door was damaged and windows in the area were shattered, but there were no injuries. The night watchman and the policeman saw two young men, one with a beard, put the device against the wall and then dash away in an automobile just before it went off.
Claudio Volonte went to police headquarters last night and has remained there since. According to police sources he told the interrogators that he had been with Miss Boschero at the time of the bombing. The French actress is in Rome to make a film called “I Will, You Kill.”
Police, however, refuse to give details of what Miss Boschero told them. She was not immediately available to comment.
The attempt to present “The Deputy,” which is sharply critical of the late Pope Pius XII for not trying to stop the Nazi massacre of Jews during World War II, was stopped by police on Saturday night.
Gian Maria Volonte and a group of actors including his brother had tried to put it on for journalists in a private theatre they had built in a crypt of a de-consecrated church in Central Rome.
When police prevented guests from attending, the matter turned into a cause celevre between the Vatican and Communists. Volonte and his actor-friends remained in the “theatre” for three days while police remained on guard. Then they managed to put on the play in in a book store just as the government officially banned its presentation in the Eternal City, using the Italian-Vatican Lateran pact as the reason.