Pope's would-be killer to be freed

2009-12-21 16:53

Ankara - Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turk who attempted to kill pope John Paul II, is to be freed next month, after nearly three decades behind bars, his lawyer said on Monday.

"The prison prosecutor has confirmed to us that Agca will be released on January 18," lawyer Haci Ali Ozhan told AFP.

Imprisoned in a high-security jail near Ankara, the 51-year-old Agca is awaiting his freedom "in good health and spirits", Ozhan said.

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

Agca has been incarcerated in Turkey since 2000 when Italy pardoned him for the 1981 assassination attempt on John Paul II and extradited him.

He was on the run from Turkish justice facing murder charges when he resurfaced at St Peter's Square in Rome, on May 13 1981, when he shot and seriously wounded the pontiff.

The motives for the attack remain a mystery. The alleged involvement of the Soviet Union and then-communist Bulgaria were never proven.

Agca has claimed the attack was part of a divine plan, giving contradictory statements and frequently changing his story.

Many see him as deranged - he claims to be a "second Messiah" - while others believe he is a sly operator playing the fool.

A former member of the notorious far-right Grey Wolves, Agca was also convicted in Turkey for the murder of a prominent journalist, two armed robberies and escaping from prison, all dating back to the 1970s.

- SAPA
Read more on:    john paul ii  |  mehmet ali agca
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News

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

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Be open, network and share your intentions and ideas as these may be the vital seeds to the imminent change that can be starting...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.