Agca wants to meet pope

2006-01-10 17:01
Istanbul - The man who tried to kill Pope John Paul II almost quarter of a century ago wants to meet his target's successor, his brother was quoted on Tuesday as saying.

Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turk, shot and wounded John Paul II, hitting him in the abdomen, on May 13 1981 in St Peter's Square in Rome.

He is due to be freed from jail in Istanbul on Thursday.

"He wants to meet the new (pontiff - Benedict XVI)," his brother Adnan Agca told the Sabah newspaper.

"If the pope grants him an audience he would be ready to go to Italy."

He also suggested that the meeting could take place when Benedict XVI carries out a planned visit to Turkey later this year.

Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi pardoned Agca, now aged 48, in 2000 and he was transferred to Turkey where he had been sentenced to death in absentia in 1981 for the 1979 killing of a journalist, Abdi Ipecki.

On his return he was also found guilty of two charges of armed violence in Istanbul in the 1970s and given a 36-year sentence.

He benefited from a 2002 amnesty and a reduced sentence, according to his lawyer Mustafa Demirbag, who revealed his client would be freed this week.

Demirbag told Sabah Agca had "paid the heavy price of his crime" and should be freed.

When John Paul II died last year Agca pleaded with the Turkish authorities to be allowed to attend the funeral of the man he called his "spiritual brother", but to no avail.

Agca never clearly explained why he tried to kill the pope, and the latter never said if Agca had told him the reason when he visited him in his cell.

However his motives appeared to be at least partly political, as Agca was a known member of a far-right nationalist group in Turkey, and had earlier made statements describing the pope as a "capitalist" and a "crusader", meaning anti-Islamic activist.

When Agca was overpowered in St Peter's Square, investigators found a garbled note in his pocket saying: "I killed the pope to protest against the imperialism of the Soviet Union and the United States and against the genocides they are perpetrating in El Salvador and Afghanistan."

NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Nothing, and we mean nothing, will keep goalkeeper Scott Stirling from stopping the ball!

 
 

Men24.com

This invention makes farts smell like chocolate!
11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The Moon has moved into your sign, emphasizing the need to connect things to work together. There is a tendency to focus too far...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.