Pope's failed assassin freed

2010-01-18 14:23
Ankara - The Turk who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981, Mehmet Ali Agca, was released from prison on Monday after almost three decades behind bars, his lawyer said.

"The release procedure has been completed," Yilmaz Abosoglu told an army of reporters outside a high-security prison near Ankara.

Wearing a blue sweater, Agca was seen driving away in a car, escorted by several other vehicles.

The lawyer explained that the 52-year-old would be immediately taken to an army recruitment office to sort out procedures concerning his status as a draft dodger.

Agca at age 23 was a militant of the notorious far-right Grey Wolves, on the run from Turkish justice facing murder charges, when he resurfaced in the Vatican's Saint Peter's Square on May 13 1981, and opened fire on the pope as he drove to an audience in an open vehicle.

John Paul II was seriously wounded in the abdomen and Agca spent the next 19 years in Italian prisons.

The motive behind the attack remains a mystery.

'A divine plan'

Agca has claimed it was part of a divine plan and has given often contradictory statements, frequently changing his story and forcing investigators to open dozens of inquiries.

Charges that the Soviet Union and then-communist Bulgaria were behind the assassination attempt were never proved.

In 2000, Italy pardoned Agca and extradited him to Turkey, where he was convicted for the murder of prominent journalist Abdi Ipekci, two armed robberies and escaping from prison, crimes all dating back to the 1970s.

The Turkish authorities had released Agca in January 2006 amid a legal mix-up, but re-arrested him after eight days when a court ruled that reductions to his jail term under amnesty laws and penal code amendments had been miscalculated.

On Sunday, his lawyer said military authorities considered Agca a draft dodger and required him to undergo a check-up immediately after his release because an earlier medical report declaring him unfit had not been approved.

Agca was declared unfit for military service, obligatory for Turkish men, because of "advanced anti-social personality disorder" when he underwent a check-up at a military hospital during his short-lived release in 2006.
Read more on:    mehmet ali agca  |  pope john paul ii
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/World
 

The truth about painkillers and exercise

Many of us use painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines to mask pain so they can continue with their training.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Where were you when you last felt alive?
Watch: Fishing under ice
This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
This is why you need to get fit in your 20's

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

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on electronics!

Get mind blowing savings on top electronic products. 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

You may be spending too much time organising and trying to control things to make sure everything is perfect instead of just...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.