posted on Nov, 8 2004 @ 06:08 PM
The man who shot Pope John Paul II will be free in 2005 following a decision of a Turkish court to reduce his sentence. Mehmet Ali Agca, 46, has been
in jail since 1981. He was extradited back to Turkey in 2000 following 20 years of prison in Italy.
ANKARA, Turkey - A Turkish court reduced the prison term Monday for the man who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981, allowing his release at the end of
next year, his lawyer said.
Turkish citizen Mehmet Ali Agca, 46, was extradited to Turkey in 2000 after serving almost 20 years in Italy for shooting and wounding the pope in St.
Peter's Square in Rome. His motives for the attack remain unclear.
Upon his return to Turkey, Agca immediately was sent to prison to serve a 10-year sentence for murdering Turkish journalist Abdi Ipekci in 1979. He
was separately sentenced to seven years and four months for two robberies in Turkey the same year.
The Istanbul court ruled Monday that Agca should only serve the longest sentence — his conviction for killing Ipekci, Agca's lawyer Dogan Yildirim
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He immediately placed in prison for a murder he had committed in 1979. He had escaped from prison after serving only 6 months and resurfaced in Rome
with the assassination attempt. His motives for the attempt remain unclear. However, persistent rumors remain that it was a Bulgarian Intelligence
operation that has been sanctioned by the Soviets.