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

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid 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

Apple iPad 3 Black 64GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 4G

Retina Display Finally the incredible Retina display technology from the iPhone...

From R7699.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...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.